Riding in the in cab of my father’s truck one day, I noticed a round can on his dashboard. Having seen him stick the stuff in his mouth and spit, I asked if I could do it too.
“Sure,” he said, “let me help you.” He cracked the can of Copenhagen, grabbed a generous plug, and pulled back my bottom lip. “There you go.”
I sat there with a “peench” between my check and gum, as Walt Garrison used to say. Of course, the plug was so huge I could barely close my mouth. It didn’t take long for the juices to start squirting in my mouth.
And down my throat.
I learned 3 lessons from that day.
Remember: You Wanted This
At first everything seemed fine. No problem. In fact, my father later told me he was worried that I had no reaction. But after we got to a store about an hour later, I made a beeline to the bathroom.
Out came the plug—as well as breakfast.
I was twelve years old. That was the last day I ever dipped snuff.
3 Lessons I Learned from the Day I Dipped Snuff
Reflecting on that day has brought several lessons to mind. The first 2 are obvious, and the 3rd deserves some extra emphasis:
1. Don’t ape a habit just because you admire someone.
No matter whom you admire, he or she isn’t perfect—and they may be a poor model in an area. Granted, a 12-year old may not have this discernment, but you do. Make Jesus your standard of behavior rather than people.
2. Make your life worth imitating.
Regardless of what you think of dipping snuff, here’s an important principle: Remember others are watching you—especially your children and grandchildren. Model the life of Christ.
3. Remember: God may give you what you’ve asked for.
The Bible is replete with examples of God giving people what they requested, even though what they asked for was a bad idea:
- The Hebrews grew weary of eating manna and begged for meat (Num. 11). God gave it to them.
- The tribes of Rueben, Gad, and Manasseh asked to settle outside the Promised Land (Num. 32:5). God gave it to them.
- Israel asked for a king like all the other nations (Deut. 17:14; 1 Sam. 8:5). God gave it to them.
In each case, the fallout was huge. It’s best to qualify our requests, as Jesus did, with “not my will, but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42). We want God to give us what He wants to give us.
My father’s goal succeeded that day in the truck—to make me so sick of what I wanted that I’d never want it again.
Sometimes God does the same because He loves us.
Tell me what you think: What has God given you that you shouldn’t have asked for? To leave a comment, just click here.