It is that time of the year again. Today all across town we find people dressed up in green. The city of Chicago dyed the river green again this past weekend. There were restaurants serving green eggs and ham for breakfast. 4 leaf clovers have been spotted all over town, and the numerous attempts at recreating the Irish accent can be heard on the Televisions, radio, grocery stores, and all over town. Today is St. Patrick’s Day. It is a day whose celebration revolves really around two things; the wearing of green and the drinking of alcohol. Many will be showing up in bars tonight drinking to keep the “time honored” tradition of getting drunk on St. Patrick’s Day.
Have you ever noticed how much alcohol has become the center of our time honored traditions? We bring in the New Year by getting drunk. On Valentine ’s Day we hope to get our dates a little tipsy with a fancy champagne or wine so that we can have sex later. On Fat Tuesday we indulge ourselves usually with a drunken stupor. On St. Patrick ’s Day, you guessed it, we drink beer, green beer at that. In late May we will celebrate Memorial Day. We do this to remember all those that died from our freedoms. We celebrate by having a BBQ and drinking a few beers. Come 4th of July, we again celebrate our freedoms, by having a BBQ and drinking a few beers. As the summer comes to a conclusion, we have one last BBQ and a few more beers as we celebrate Labor Day. Halloween roles around and people throw Halloween parties where women dress provocatively and adults enjoy their “candy” or alcohol. And as the year comes to conclusion, we have our Christmas or Holiday office parties where people celebrate their bonuses by getting drunk. Our traditions have a massive drinking problem. If this is really the activities of an “average” American, then I would say that we as a nation have a massive drinking problem. It seems that we as a nation are looking for more reasons to drink than not to drink. We drink at the above listed “holidays.” We drink when just hanging out with the guys (or ladies). We drink when watching the big game. We drink when watching the tournament that starts later this week. We drink when we watch the race. We as a nation are fascinated with not being sober. A couple of weeks ago I listen to a person tell me how they celebrated the birth of his firstborn son and how he celebrated the 5th birthday of that firstborn son. And I was shocked to hear that losing one’s sobriety was a good way to celebrate such an occasion.
The scriptures are clear on the subject of alcohol. “Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions? Who has complaining? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? Those who linger long over wine, those who go to taste mixed wine. Do not look on the wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly; At the last it bites like a serpent And stings like a viper. Your eyes will see strange things And your mind will utter perverse things. And you will be like one who lies down in the middle of the sea, Or like one who lies down on the top of a mast. “They struck me, but I did not become ill; They beat me, but I did not know it. When shall I awake? I will seek another drink (Prov. 23:29-35, NASB).” Solomon encouraged his son to not be tempted by it, by not even looking at it. It destroys you. It leaves you broken. It shatters your home. It hurts your spouse. And it will inevitably hurt your children. This St. Patrick’s day, rather than drinking to your heart’s content, find a way to have fun… with sobriety. It is possible. And the best part is, in the morning, not only will you not have a head ache, not only will you remember everything you did do, and likely not have any regrets, you stayed sober and right with God.