I first tried tobacco in our backyard as a 8 year old. My father had a “It’s a girl” cigar that had been rolling around in the truck. I peeled it and placed the cigar in my lip. Terrible, spit it out. A couple friends of my father dipped, and I always held those guys in high regard, not because of the chewing but the toughness and independent spirit they had. I just thought chewing was what tough independent men did. It was cool. When I was 13 my dad had my drive our tractor home from the shop. It was about a 35 trip and at the breakneck speed of 12 miles per hour this was an entire afternoon. I enjoyed the solitude of driving tractor. Independent and responsible. I was trusted it was a badge of honor for me to be trusted with the tractor and such a long trip. I had no more jumped into the cab than I discovered a tin of skoal wintergreen bandits. I’m sure the mechanic had left them. I tried one. Much different than the unrolled cigar, this tasted good, and made me feel even more independent.
In the small rural town I grew up in, tapping into the elicit smokeless tobacco cartel was not difficult. I began dipping snuff at the age of 13. I was a born ninja dipper. I always hid it.
Copenhagen become my chew of choice as it was considered he ultimate tough guy chew in our community.
Almost as soon as I started, I wanted to quit. I struggled with the idea of bein addicted, and it violated my conscious.
I jumped in and out of bed with the nic mistress for the next 22 years. A miserable affair. As I reflect, I can honestly say, I gave more time, attention, and intimacy to nicotine than any human relationship.
Shame on me.
I resolve from this day forward to give myself recklessly to loving GOD, my wife, children, friends, and people I encounter with the same commitment and faithfulness I gave to nicotine. My addiction is actually an inspiration to me. If I could give all that time and tenderness to a processed plant, i believe I truly have the capacity to love the real GOD, and real people.
Today as I quit for the 101 consecutive day, I am reminded that I have the capacity to choose love, rather than greed and selfishness.
Thank you nicotine for teaching me how to love. Thank you KTC for teaching me how to hate evil.