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Family and Friends is my everyday journal. Captain's Log is where I pontificate on religion and politics.

Monday, September 26, 2011

A Long Time Ago...

When I was 14 I made a friend that my parents didn't exactly approve of. He lived down the street. He was in 7th grade and I was in 8th. He was a bad influence on me. He got me smoking. We were going to a very fundamentalist church at the time. The preacher didn't think Christians should go to movies, watch TV other than Dallas Cowboy Football, and the usual no smoking, drinking, premarital sex, playing cards, dominoes...
In the fall only 9th graders played football so there wasn't anything to do after school until basketball started up in November. M and I sometimes with someone else would go to his house until I knew Mom would get home from work. I'd bang around on his drum set and we'd smoke. During lunch there was a vacant house with a back yard bordering the school. We'd jump the wall and smoke. Mom's reading this so I won't tell anyone how we got the cigarettes. We got caught and were suspended from school for three days. Mom was not pleased. I had to read John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress and write a report. She had some other punishments for those three days.
What this did was give me an out from smoking. I really didn't like it. Every time I'd light up I'd look over my shoulder to see if someone was around that would tell my parents and I knew God wasn't pleased.
I could then tell M that I wouldn't smoke anymore. He stopped having anything to do with me and I wasn't all that upset about it.
We had little contact the rest of that year or the next. I didn't play basketball that year, but made varsity in track. I went on over the years to be state champion in the mile, get a track scholarship to college and so on.
A few months ago when we joined a house church pastored by the man I currently do legal assistant work with. M and his wife are also members of this church. He and S (the pastor) worked in a prison ministry. I don't know all the details how M came to find tthe Lord, but it's been nice to meet again. The problem is that his is dying from the forty plus years of smoking and won't quit. It's sad for his wife to come alone to church because he's too sick to get out of bed and see her tears knowing he doesn't have much time.
To a certain extent his story could be mine if I didn't have parents who cared and a faith to help me overcome peer pressure at that time.


grandma1 said...

It is nice to know you think I did the right thing. I wondered if the Pilgrim's Progress was too much. It could have pushed you the other way and made you h
ate religion.

P M Prescott said...

Not at all.

Unknown said...

Yes, I lost a great friend to cigarettes in 1997 and gave his Eulogy with his sons and his daughter. He never touched alcohol and was ashamed that he could accomplish anything he put his mind to. But the cigarettes were so addictive and eventually he died from using them. Your friend is now in my utmost thoughts and prayers, P M.

P M Prescott said...

Michael, that will be a great comfort to him and his family as they go through this time.