Thursday, December 30, 2010

"How Did You Stop Smoking Pot?"

Guy and Brad are cellmates and they love the Lord and minister to younger believers all the time. They had read my testimony (which can be found if you click on "March 2010") entitled "How Did You Meet Jesus?" Seeing as I met Jesus at a pot party, and rightly assuming that sometime since then I have stopped, they want to know how I managed to quit? Apparently some of the new believers there struggle with this temptation. I wouldn't recommend what I'm about to share as advice to those wanting to quit. But there is something to be said about asking God into our every situation in life. Just remember that He accepts our invitations; and He doesn't mess around, even when we are:

When God got me to stop smoking pot, it was either the very end of June, or the very beginning of July. That much I know! And here is how it came about:

About 11 months prior, I had come to faith in Christ, at that Christian Pot Party, that I wrote about prior. Since then, whenever I heard Christians railing against pot smoking as if it were a big sin, I was not one to nod eagerly. I checked and I couldn’t find pot smoking in the Bible at all. And when I thought of how I came to know Jesus while looking for pot, well, you can imagine that I was not going to give up my habit or my bong very easily.

Looking back, pot smoking for me was a kind of desperate means for me to make my life more interesting. Easily bored and really hating that feeling, life simply hurt without pot, and it was at least entertaining with pot (even if these induced adventures were fabricated). Like the time friend Kevin and I found ancient Indian pottery in a stream bed, only to find out when we came down from our high, that they were, well, granite. Or all those poems I wrote that would change the world and bring me literary acclaim; only to read the next day, something like:

“The sky is so red!
at least I’m not freakin dead.”

It wasn’t reality, but it wasn’t boring. But after I met Jesus I started noticing that life was so much more interesting straight now, than when I was high. My reality was now so much better than my pot induced adventures. I was finding it to be true too, that when I got high I couldn’t hear God talking to me, but when I was not high I could hear Him so much better. It was just like that girl had said at that Christian Pot Party the year before. She was right! Jesus is way better than pot! And I too saw that soon I’d be done with pot altogether. I thought that was cool!

I was coming up to my college graduation and since I had way too many contacts for pot at college and none really in my hometown, I figured that graduation would be a natural departure from pot-smoking. Most of my friends still partied at school, and I was saying goodbye to them all the time. Soon I’d be 1200 or so miles away from my contacts. I figured I'd just stop then.

Well, that was fine for a while. Cause I left Carbondale and was now back in Lexington, away from anyone I knew who provided weed. But a few weeks into summer, a friend of mine was getting married and he wanted me to be one of his ushers. Ben had one of those uncles that every parent gets angry at. He was about 10 years younger than Ben’s dad, and was a real partier. After the wedding, as he went through the receiving line, he shook hands with each of us ushers and when he got to me, he winked, shook my hand, thus slipping me a joint. I don’t know how many joints he passed out in that receiving line, but I didn’t make a scene or say, “Thanks, but I am quitting,” etc. I just slipped it into my pocket and couldn’t stop thinking about it all through the reception.

I got home and had 100 opportunities to flush the thing, but instead declared, “I will put this in my sock drawer and never smoke it, to prove that I’m really over the stuff.” Yeah, that was not a good idea! That joint was on my mind constantly it seemed for the next two weeks. I sometimes would open my drawer just to look at it, sigh, and would shut my drawer. And I would tell myself each time, saying, “Another day without pot. I’m doing great!” I was actually doing just fine before I had that joint. I needed to just flush it. But I didn’t.

Well, here it was two weeks after the wedding, the end of June/beginning of July, with summer before me, and I was up in my room, and my parents went out, and my sister was not home, and I looked over at my drawer, and prayed, “Lord, one last time. How about if we get high together?!?”

Right Tom, as if God needs pot. He CREATED the stuff! So all excited, (and not waiting for an answer), I ran downstairs and made some sandwiches, and got a bowl of potato chips, and “oh, hey, dad got a case of beer. Surely he won’t miss two cans. La-la-la La-la. “

I knew I’d have "the munchies" and didn’t want to risk raiding the fridge with bloodshot eyes and uncontrolled laughter over the way some bug was on its back, right in front of everyone, in case they came home; and so instead, I brought the tray of food and beer up to my room. Once in my room, I laid the towel under the door and opened my bedroom window, to watch the sunset, (cause that would be deep), and so that I could get baked with God.

By the time “WE’D” finished the joint, I was staring out the window thinking this was pretty good.** Now mind you I have never hallucinated on pot, and yet what I'm about to write, I actually saw: Suddenly, a green light shone in the sky! It was a bright hanging looming green light. I thought of what this could be. Immediately I knew! I had been in the middle of reading, “The Late Great Planet Earth,” by Hal Lindsay. Jesus was returning!

**Note: "Pretty good," is not the best term but I couldn't find in either English or Greek, a word that means, "disappointed that I caved, but at least I can stop looking over at my sock drawer."

Based mostly on the biblical books of Revelation and Daniel, Hal Lindsay had been describing the plagues and vials and bowls of suffering that were to be poured out upon the earth, just after what many believers call “the rapture,” and I was now sure, that this was indeed the end of days, and the rapture was happening! This light in the sky for all to see was surely a vial being poured out on mankind, and the rapture must have just taken place, and God was not here with me getting high at all, but I missed the trumpet blast. And I never heard it, because I was HIGH and in SIN!!!!!

I cannot describe fully how upset I was. It was not just mental anguish, but I was also emotionally and physically shaking! I was stoned and crying and terrified. And as the tears started to flow, and I stood by my window, I looked up, and right where that green light had hung up in the sky, there was now an orange light. The second vial was being poured out upon mankind! And I still heard nothing; no trumpets! I was going to go through the tribulation period, not receive the devil’s mark, and get beheaded. (Says so right on page whatever that was.) I was "left behind" because I wanted to get high, and I'd let the pot take me beyond revelation; that is, beyond hearing God’s voice.

Then I thought, “Jesus is coming! Maybe I can still come down before the final plagues, and respond to the trumpet that I can’t yet hear?!?!?!?!?” It was worth a try!

Munchies! I didn’t have them yet, but eating when high usually brought me down; and so I began to stuff the tuna fish sandwiches into my mouth. Potato chips too! And then I looked out the window and now where the orange light had been in the sky, hung a bright red one, bright and with a faint trail of smoke. With crying blurry eyes I could only make out the color and smoke trail, but it was kind of a familiar sight by now and I ate more frantically. My mouth was dry from the pot smoke and the tuna and chips, and yet I had to get the food down! I was still so upset. I wasn’t coming down from the high! And so I began to wash down the food, so as to get some more food into me.

After a few gulps I realized that I was washing it all down with BEER! Alcohol 4%!!!! "Jesus is coming and He’ll find me with bloodshot eyes, a runny nose, and now beer breath!" This stunk!!! I was so upset! Mouth all dry, and full of sandwich and chips, I looked up and through my tears, I could see another green light. I thought, “Why green again?” And now it faded. Was that the last one? Was I lost? Was it over? NO! Here comes another orange light. Wait! Oh!

Maybe I was actually starting to come down from the high. I had a logical thought, and quickly I looked up at the calendar in my room, and then out at the now rising red light and realized what it was. Someone was out in the clearing just past the woods, lighting off a roman candle! "Happy 4th of July!!!" Sure enough, soon a bottle rocket went up. And I just sat there, cheeks fuller than a squirrel in November.

Numb, and still crying, I just stared out and rubbed my eyes to make sure it was roman candles and not actually yet "the end of the age." I had to literally reach into my overstuffed mouth, and pull out dry chips and tuna sandwich. Still crying and all exhausted, I fell on the bed and just wept. I was so upset and yet so relieved! Jesus wasn’t coming back yet. And I just cried. I had never been so terrified!

And as I started to calm down and to stop shaking, I knew His voice again. He said to me very seriously and yet His voice so full of love too; “What DO you want to be doing when I return?” And I just cried and laughed and said, “Not this Lord. Not this!”

And so boys and girls, moms and dads, that is how God got me to stop smoking pot. If you are going to get high, don’t kid yourself, thinking you can just invite the Lord in on your sin. He doesn’t do drugs and He will totally mess with you!

Still, I wouldn’t just throw away that bong if I were you!
With a bit of red paint and a good cleaning,
they make awfully nice hummingbird feeders!