It’s not easy owning up to this. I am very reluctant to expose a problem that started in my childhood, but it if confession is good for the soul, maybe I’ll feel better.
I can’t really say when my problem started because it seems it’s always been with me. When I was less than a year old my father walked out on my mother, leaving her with four children. Dad and his live-in-lover ate well. We didn’t.
Maybe the poverty had some-thing to do with it. The thing I remember is, that being poor was very inexpensive, but it had drawbacks. We couldn’t even afford electricity. I was probably the only one on our block who had a kerosene stereo.
Another thing about those hated times is Mother couldn’t buy Spock’s book on child raising and I couldn’t hire an attorney to sue for separation, so we did with what we had and used the Holy Bible as a guide. That’s very likely where the drug problem started.
As a child, I was drug to Sunday School, drug to morning worship, drug to Sunday evening service, and drug to Wednesday evening Bible study. And when we had revival meetings, my cruel mother drug me to church nightly.
I will always believe my life is forever marked by a childhood incident at the grocery store. I gave in to temptation and stole a handful of candy only to have my sin revealed. I felt like a dope when mother drug me to the owner of the store, I acknowledged my wrongdoing and paid for my sin.
I can’t remember the entire episode, or the speech that followed, but it seems like she said something about values and respecting what other people owned. She said, “The Bible says, `Thou shalt not steal.’ If you want things, learn to work for them. Don’t steal from someone else.” With that I was saddled with yet another lifetime burden: a work ethic.
I really should mention how my ego suffered irreparable damage by not having my way all the time. Numerous times I was drug to the woodshed for an attitude adjustment. The altering instrument was from a cottonwood tree in the backyard bereft of its lower limbs.
Actually, I really shouldn’t be reluctant to talk about such drug problems because they’ve spared me heartache throughout my adult life. They’ve shaped my values and given me a sense of responsibility. Instead of being desensitized, I’ve learned respect for others and myself.
And though I am not so vain as to make a claim of moral perfection, I will always be grateful for the good influences of these drugs. Traces of them are still in my veins. (Reprinted from The Pentecostal Evangel.)
Guardian of Truth XXXVIII: 20, p. 1
October 20, 1994