26 February 2013

Talking a Big Game

So, I'm in the world. It's not a bad place here. The good in people is apparent. Beautiful, even.

So many people desire Jesus. Most of them don't know He's what's missing.

I have a lot of conversations with a lot of people, mostly about things not pertaining to Jesus or religion.

A lot of times, people talk about drinking. You should hear the way they talk too.
At work, a lot of stories start out with "we were so drunk this one night" or "once when I was wasted" or "on Friday when I got home, I just got drunk." WHY? Do people not have anything better to talk about, really?

Let me tell you about being a missionary. I drank A LOT as a missionary. NOT at once, just pretty frequently. It isn't rare that missionaries have a couple drinks, at LEAST one or two times per week. It comes with the territory! I was reaching out to college students, most college students like to drink, the Apostles drank, Jesus Himself turned water into wine... so why not? Alcohol isn't inherently bad!

This week, I went out with my colleagues. Beforehand, a lot of them said things like "I can't wait to get obliterated tonight" and "we're going to get crazy." You want to know what happened? We stayed at a bar for 2 hours... we all ate... and not one person had more than two drinks. We had a great time!

Maybe this isn't typical of their "going out" extravaganzas... I'm not sure. But no one got crazy. I know for a fact that people drink and even drink to get drunk... but how often, I wonder? Are they all just talking a big game? It seemed to me that the only difference between this outing and one that I'd go on with my missionary friends/students is the way that alcohol was talked about. Even this morning a guy came in and said something about "oh man, after last night..." and I was like what on earth... you had one drink.

It's so weird, because I also know that when I was a missionary, a lot of our students were drinking and getting drunk, and then not talking about it to anyone who they thought might want to call them to a higher standard. It seems as if some of my colleagues use drunkenness (or at least drunken stories) as a thermometer to measure how cool someone is... what is this, high school? Been there, done that, got ten t-shirts... not interested in going backwards. They really are great people, I like them all a tremendous amount... I just don't understand why we constantly refer back to alcohol as a source of entertainment.

It reminds me of a story in the Bible (although I can't find it right now) where two men are called to go do something(?) for the Lord. One says he will go, and when the time comes, he stays home. One says he will not go, but when the time comes, he goes anyways. (Vague... and I'm ashamed at my lack of Bible knowledge... but have you heard of the story I'm talking about?)

One thing I have been thinking about lately is this line from St. Paul's first letter to Corinth:
"To the weak, I became weak, to win over the weak. I have become all things to all, to save at least some. All this I do for the sake of the gospel, so that I too may have some share in it."

Saint Martin of Tours, pray for us!

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