Someone I respect posted a blog today. I have a lot higher priorities than blogging right now, but I couldn’t NOT respond to what he said here. So today was an investment. Even though I’ve never met him, he’s a child of God, and worth every minute of my time. He could be my child. My other priorities will have to happen later. Mama’s about to have a tellin’ –
I remember my first drug deal. It was a shady street on the other side of town, probably nice enough in daylight and not much different from the street where I was born, but it wasn’t too friendly from this angle. I was left outside in a car with a couple of very trashy girls while the guys who’d professed to our fathers they’d take care of us with their lives had disappeared inside – which house, I wasn’t sure. For a long time. I finally got out of the smoke-filled car so I could breathe, and went for a walk. In the days before cell phones, it was sometimes difficult to call Dad for a rescue. Just as I decided to go knock on a door, the guys came out, laughing and ready to go have a fun time. All the time I’d spent primping and preening for my date – I now stunk like an ashtray, my head was splitting from toxicities audible and airborne, and now I had to listen to a lame excuse as to why it was ok for me to have been temporarily abandoned for something much more interesting.
It was just this side of the transaction I’d never seen. My brother had a small nursery in his room upstairs that was the envy of all the neighbor teens. He had a small income on top of his job. I helped him, on occasion, to clean the seeds. After he vacationed in Hawaii, I learned to tell the difference between the acrid smell of the crappy local stuff and the full bodied, richer Kona Gold and Maui Wowie. I guess I had a nose for nuances even then. We laughed when somebody sold an oregano joint to a stupid kid who wanted to grow up faster. We cried a few years later when someone laced a roll for the same, now stupid teen, and he ended up in the mental hospital permanently. Some of the older kids said he had it coming; he was always an idiot. I felt badly; he was a really nice kid.
All my friends did it, so it couldn’t have been that bad. Every so often you heard a story of a bad trip and seeing spiders on all the walls of your home or somesuch. That was a gauntlet of sanity I never wanted to experience. I stayed away from it all. They laughed at me. It wasn’t until a decade had passed that several of them mentioned I was the only smart one in the group. I’d drawn my line and never crossed it.
I never wanted to be in a place where I was not firmly in control of my own faculties.
As I got older, I began learning about herbs in order to heal childhood maladies without going broke at the pharmacy. Remember, I’d already drawn my line with the drug dealers. I came across Lobelia, or Indian tobacco. The kids knew if they got really sick, it wouldn’t be long before I rubbed it on their feet and made them smell like an old Indian chief. I fear it for all the dire warnings that accompany its description, but I’m drawn to its power and adaptogenic properties. I still use it when I need it.
But we don’t play with the peace pipe recreationally.
Ps.104:14 says that we have been given “herbs for the service of man.” The legal status of pot has given it a position – it’s become the logo for rebellious teens all across the country for several generations instead of just another herb for holistic health.
William Dufty, in his book Sugar Blues, compared drugs to alcohol and sugar and concluded with one statement: “Junkies die of junk.”
We are all dying of our sins – this is the human condition. If you repeatedly give your body unnecessary substances, physically or spiritually, eventually you’ll be unhealthy. It doesn’t matter whether it’s socially acceptable or not. Red Bull, fast food, or weed isn’t the substance of the argument.
“If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which [temple] ye are.” (1 Cor. 3:17)
I didn’t draw my line on smoking, drugs and illegality back in the day because of the moral high ground. Far from it – I was afraid I’d be the one to die, first time out. A medicinal herbalist will call for help if someone has a reaction, because he/she has no fear of the light. Lawbreakers don’t want light shed on their activities, because 9-1-1 responders don’t care about whether what you’re doing should be legal. You both know it’s not.
A little side note here: my dentist found that I am VERY sensitive to substances. He remarked that I would’ve been the one in a million to OD on my first try.
But most people never have a problem and eventually dismiss those years as “adolescence”. My brother went on to teach doctors about drugs and their interactions internationally. Experts are amazed at his command of the subject. Others, though, lulled by their successful foray into rebellion with no repercussions, continued to rebel in other areas as well, and stayed wasted.
Are Christians perfect? Hardly. Many of them think they are because they don’t smoke pot or frequent bars.. But really, we’re all humans, tainted by sin and a propensity to flirt with darkness. The devil is cunning and will twist God’s goodness to entice us away from righteousness. Knowing this, do we dare go off our own way -to the other side of the laws He has explicitly given us- effectively leaving Him in the smoky backseat until we come back with a lame excuse of “it shouldn’t be illegal anyway”?
“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Cor. 10:31) I have a hard time envisioning passing a bong around a room full of wasted dudes and sharing Cheetos as a way to bring glory to God.
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27)
It’s not the herb or a particular thing that’s the problem. It’s your heart regarding it.
Be careful little eyes what you see
It’s the second glance that ties your hands as darkness pulls the strings
Be careful little feet where you go
For it’s the little feet behind you that are sure to follow
It’s a slow fade when you give yourself away
It’s a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
It’s a slow fade, it’s a slow fade
– Casting Crowns, “Slow Fade”
For another interesting article on this topic, see here.