I was on my way back home to Nashville from Dallas after spending time with my family for a semi-reunion. I was sitting at DFW Terminal D, where all the good shops are, and was enjoying a nice snack before my plane arrived. I was on my 3rd glass of wine at this point, and trying to figure out how much time I had and how much I could down before my flight got there.

I checked my bank account to see how much money I had left, and saw I was running short. I sat there at that restaurant for 45 minutes with one thought in my head, “How could I skip out on my bill and go spend the money I did have somewhere else to get more alcohol.”

I was weighing the pros and cons to the situation and eventually chickened out. Thankfully! What was I thinking? I was in the middle of one of the busiest airports in the country, post-9/11, and thinking how I could run away from paying a bill at a restaurant so I could drink more. It wouldn’t get attention at all, would it? They wouldn’t be able to see the crazy drunk guy running through the airport trying to dodge a tab and find a new bar….

My mind was in such a bad place when I was drinking. Thoughts like this always crossed my mind and got some serious consideration in my behavior. As embarrassing as this is, I choose to tell it to people. When I tell others this particular story, I can tell them that it is a tool that keeps me sober.

I am embarrassed by a lot of what I thought I would do back then, and I look at it in my present life and use that embarrassment and stupidity as a tool to stay sober. I think back to those times when I acted like this and tell myself I don’t ever want to end up there again. I was contemplating breaking several local and federal laws, all because I wanted to drink as much as possible while spending the least amount of money.

We are taught to forget our past by society. How can we ever grow if we don’t remember our past? It is what you do with your past that makes you who you are today. We had to first quit drinking, then we used our past as tools to keep us sober. None of us want to be back where we were before, but we can be grateful for those experiences and the fact that we are still here today to be able to help ourselves become better Christians, better sober people, and better able to teach others what we have learned to hopefully save them the heartache and embarrassment later on in life.

Never forget your past, just remember where you are standing now and how your past has contributed to that, and what you are now doing with that knowledge.

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.

2 Peter 3:18 (NIV)