Almost five years ago, I wrote this post, wherein I talked about an experience I had in trying to help a lady who turned out to be drunk.
Then, just a couple of weeks ago, I saw it all on display again.
As my dad wrote on Monday, our family was able to enjoy the recent Music City Bowl together. It was a wonderful time with family; a day I will not forget.
However, not every detail of the day was a delight. Sitting behind us were some fans of one of the teams (I will not reveal which team, because I am certain there were fans of both teams in the stadium who this could be said about) who cursed and slurred their way through a pretty decent football game.
In fact, at one point–probably late in the third quarter–one of the men yelled out to his friend that they needed “to go watch the [team name].” To that, his buddy explained, “We are watching them!”
You read that right. Almost 3/4 of the way through a game, one of these men did not realize he was even at the game. Oh, and at the time, the team he was rooting for was winning!
Certainly, this was not the only case of foolish behavior at the game. We heard racial slurs yelled. We later saw a video (from another part of the stadium) of fans who were rooting for the same team in a fistfight with each other. We heard language that was indescribably bad…and incessant.
This is not an anti-sports post. It is not a post meant to keep people from attending sporting events or concerts.
However, it is a reminder to us all of the complete foolishness of alcohol. The beer (and other drinks) were flowing freely in that stadium that day. The speech got more slurred and the smell of alcohol grew stronger all around us as the game wore on.
And no one seemed to stop and wonder what in the world they were doing to themselves, or how utterly foolish they were acting.
Our society just says it’s all part of “having a good time.” It’s just a small piece of the “game day experience.” It’s why you work, so you can afford to “let go and unwind.”
The Bible calls it foolishness.
The Bible calls it sin (see Galatians 5:19-21).
I know Christians who believe that social drinking is fine. I’ve heard and read all the arguments (more times than I can remember).
And then I go to a game and am reminded of reality: it is nothing more than playing the fool to drink.
All the arguments about “it’s just a little fun” or “I can handle it” or “I know my limits” look nothing more than foolish when you think about them.
Give your arguments to the parents who are burying a child killed by a drunk driver who “could handle his liquor.”
Share those statements with the teenager who would love just one day where dad didn’t come home and “drink away the stress of the day,” and instead would listen to his children.
Point out your wise counsel to the business owner who has to fire a good employee who thought he could handle just one more, then made a nuisance of himself at the company party.
Share your wisdom to the teen who drank just one beer at the party last Friday–the first drink he ever took–and, because took and shared a photo, now is off the basketball team and is socially an outcast for that decision.
And then, the next time you think about drinking, remember how you said that this would just be a “one-time” thing to get through the day, or to help enjoy the game. And ask yourself, who is really in charge here?
Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaining? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? [If I may add, who doesn’t even know what game he is at? ADF]
Those who tarry long over wine; those who go to try mixed wine. Do not look at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup and goes down smoothly.
In the end it bites like a serpent and stings like an adder. Your eyes will see strange things, and your heart utter perverse things. You will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea, like one who lies on the top of a mast.
“They struck me,” you will say, “but I was not hurt; they beat me, but I did not feel it. When shall I awake? I must have another drink.” (Proverbs 23:29-35; emphasis added)
Society says is cool.
But Scripture says you are a fool.
After what I saw at the game, I was reminded of the absolute truth of that Biblical claim. I may not be as “cool” as some people, but you know what? I actually remember the game I went to watch and can share every memory of it with joy and with no shame.
Now that sounds cool to me!
AUTHOR: Adam Faughn