One night my friend invited me over for dinner. She was one of those precious “work” friends that sometimes we are blessed enough to run across, and I was missing her dearly after she had left work to become a stay-at-home mama. She always made me roar with laughter, and without her my workplace was much less interesting.
We got steaks for dinner. We chatted about everything that she was missing at work. She cracked open a bottle of wine, and we drank it. At 24 years old, I had never in my life had more than one drink, but on this night, with my friend, I had glass after glass, and before I knew it my head was swimming.
I was so young and naïve.
Finally, after I had been there for hours, my friend suddenly turned serious. She looked me straight in the eyes and asked me what I believe. What can you tell me about God? How do you think people get to Heaven?
My heart sunk all the way down the to soles of my unsteady feet. I realized that the point of this entire dinner was probably so that she could ask me these questions. And my foggy mind was in no way equipped to tell her any of the truths that I knew about my God or anything at all about His redemptive plan.
We parted ways that night without ever having a real conversation about Jesus.
It was the only time in my life that I ever got drunk. And, it was the only time in my life that anyone ever asked me point blank to lay the truths of Christ out on the table. What a shame that I wasn’t ready in season and out of season to preach the word. (2 Timothy 4:2)
I don’t worry about my friend. I believe in the sovereignty of God’s purposes. I pray that He has sent someone else to her–I pray for her salvation often. But, my, didn’t I miss out on the great privilege and blessing of leading my friend a little further up the road toward Christ. Fourteen years later I still grieve over it.
I have often wondered why God keeps me on such a short leash. Why, of all nights, would my sweet friend ask me those questions on the one night that I had too much to drink? And yet, it happened. The two incompatible events occurred at the same time. And, I learned that I never again want to be lured into letting my clearest thinking grow muddy and incomprehensible. And that, in case you were wondering, is why I don’t drink alcohol.