I realize during this day and age that a certain person I am about to mention is not a very popular guy. Quite frankly, which ever your pursuasion, I have to be completely candid with you in that though I may not have always agreed with everything he did, I like the guy and honestly, I am so worn out on the constant drumbeat of negative words used to describe him. Isn’t it enough already, yet? So, here it goes…

art_bushdrug_giPresident George W. Bush

Wow… I said it… so far no negative comments or death threat emails, prank calls, slashed tires, or anything else. But, someone please remind me to pay the neighbor kid to rig up some kind of a remote control contraption that will start my car for me tomorrow morning.

 I just read an article today where Mr. Bush opened up about his own alcohol struggle. In the article, there are some pretty amazing statements made both of stats as well as about the power of prayer.

Check it out here: Bush opens up on struggle with alcohol abuse

martiniFor me, I have always believed that it is not alcohol that is a sin, but the abuse of it. I always believe in the importance of sensitivity of others who may themselves have struggles with it. But, alcohol is not something to play with and is that which to respect, just like the ocean that can so quickly pull you under.

I too have seen both the enjoyment value as well as the abusive power of alcohol. I have seen it with friends and I have seen it with family. So, as we head into this busy and festive time of the year where it runs more freely than other times of the year… here is a story from my youth to make as a reminder to all…

The Temporarily Forgotten

“I forgot you were there.” slurred the man with alcohol on his breath. The two cars sat next to the road on this cloudy day. Mom and I were almost home after getting a birthday present for the party that was just about to start.

A light blue truck and a red car that used to have a trunk were all that remained. Sitting in the back seat, I don’t remember much, I think I was in shock. I did need an ace bandage for something. Mom was ok, although I think she needed to wear one of those silly looking neckbraces for awhile.

Looking at that car, but not yet knowing God, I’d say I was lucky. But in retrospect, I’d say I was blessed.

I don’t remember much else. However, I do remember his name…Lee Ray …and that he forgot we were there.

What a sad statement…”I forgot you were there.” Fortunately for him, we were still there after he hit us. I can’t imagine telling that to a family who has lost loved ones from a drunk driving incident.

“Try forgetting them now.”

Today, I forgive Lee Ray. I don’t think we ever heard of him again. I pray that he got his life in order. I hope that he did not forget anyone else.

Unfortunately, a situation like this happens each day. Almost every half hour, a person will lose their life in a drunk driving accident in America.

For all those who have lost a loved one to this…we pray for you. For all those who will get behind the wheel drunk in the next half and hour…we pray for you.

May God protect the temporarily forgotten and frustrate the keys of the forgetter. May their keys never make it to the ignition.

In 2004, there was a 2% decline of drunk driving fatalities over 2003. (I wrote this in 2005)

Please join me in praying this very moment… a prayer that would bring even more decline of these numbers.

It’s 5:37…another half an hour just elapsed…23 minutes till the next.

Thanks for your prayers!

Please be careful! May your holidays be safe and happy!

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One response »

  1. Crazi1 says:

    I fully agree with all you have shared. I have, too, been affected by the abuse of alcohol through family members, friends, and nearly 2 years ago when we were forced to say goodbye to Jess, my son’s former girlfriend. They had remained close friends, chatting online just hours before her death. At just 21 years old, she and her best friend Chrissy were killed by a woman who should not have been on the road, for more reasons than just the alcohol.
    Today I still miss her infectious smile, warm hugs, and the way she called me mom long after she and Daryn stopped dating. She was contagious… loved people and loved life so much. It’s hard to believe it is nearly 2 years she was taken.
    The hardest thing in my life was forgiving the woman that killed them. I remember the day I took Daryn and others from our church to the location of her death along Highway 14, just 3 days after Jess and Chrissy had died. We built a memorial in their honor, and sat, staring at the place where their vehicles collided, trying to understand why this had happened. My heart was in such deep pain; deeper anguish than I’ve ever experienced before. Watching Daryn, Kassi, and all the others grapple with losing one of their own, I felt completely helpless. I had no words to offer them, no comfort to give.
    Forgiveness did not come easy. I know as Christ-followers we are commanded to forgive, and eventually we did. But in those days following her death, it was not in my heart.
    Her parents beautifully chose to remember how she lived, rather than how she died, and her memorial service was an awesome tribute to Jess’s faithfulness to God and to the joy that poured from deep within her heart.
    Theresa, the woman that killed Jess and Chrissy, received the maximum sentence in Washington State which was in the neighborhood of 4 years. She leaves in the wake of her choice, two beautiful children who now have no mommy to kiss them goodnight. I do pray she finds Christ in prison. Who knows, maybe one day God will lead me to visit her while she is still incarcerated.
    So Gunnar, I join with you in encouraging all who read this… please be careful what choices you make. Even driving while ‘buzzed’ is very, very dangerous. Be smart… enjoy this holiday season… and when God brings Jess and others to mind… please pray for the families who must now celebrate the holidays without them.

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