Hello TX! Great to see you. I hope that Life has been treating you really good!
Yes, you're absolutely correct!
I've seen more than my share of old-timers, that must have only thought that God had removed their problem, and they returned to drinking. From what I've observed, it seems to often happen during the 20 to 25 year sober phase.
The reason it has much concern to me, is that, this is the phase that I am in. And, even though I've done all the work and continue to do the work, to have the problem removed from my life -- I have to reasonably ask myself, "what makes me different from the one's that I've seen that... obvious to me and to them -- the problem had been removed -- but they returned to drinking and died drunk? They had totally re-created their lives. They appeared to have made significant spiritual progress. They were fine examples of one alcoholic helping another. What makes me so special... to think that I might not end up being one of them?"
Over the years, I've heard from many others through this website, that were like me. They were sober, 20 -25 years. The problem had been removed. Then, one day, an insane and insidious idea entered their head, and they said to themselves: "I've been sober almost 25 years. God has removed the problem from me. How could one little tiny glass of wine hurt me? Besides, this is such a special occassion and I don't want to be a party pooper."
I think it's very sad and unfortunate, that this happened to them, and even much more sad to me... if I ended up to be one of them.
More than one alkie I've known, his minister was with him. Actually, both of them were ministers, and had devoted their lives to helping others and to seeking to do God's will in their lives. His minister offered him a drink -- and the alkie recoiled from it as if it were a hot flame.
His minister asked him, "What's wrong? Do you have a problem w/ alcohol?"
And, the other minister answered him, "Well, I used to have a problem with it, but I haven't had a drink now since the say I got saved. I don't think God wants me putting that stuff in my body, because my body, is His Temple."
His ministered said to him: "Well. I used to be an alcoholic. I was a member of AA for 25 years. And, this is actually, how God eventually led me into my ministry. However, when I got born again, I became a new creature in Christ and no longer alcoholic." Then, he quoted 2 Cor. 5:17 "Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature... old things are passed away, and behold, all things are new."
He went on to say that he had been delivered, recovered, born again, filled with God's spirit, and totally transformed. He was no longer an alcoholic, but was now God's child.
The younger minister was shocked to hear him say that. The younger minister didn't know anything at all about AA, other than they must be some kind of cult or something -- because they have their own Higher Power, and it isn't necessarily Jesus.
Both of these ministers were working on skid-row, running a huge rescue mission in downtown Los Angeles. They were helping thousands. The younger minister was especially busy trying to help the drunks, wino's and drug addicts of skid-row... to get born again and re-create their lives through Christ and the spiritual principles of the Bible.
The younger minister... about two weeks later, after rejecting the offer of a drink... thought about what his Senior minister had told him about a being recovered alcoholic. It was a terribly hot day working on skid-row, in the middle of the summer. That night, the younger minister, on his way home began to think, "Gees. A little bit of beer should taste good right now!" And, he stopped and bought a can of beer, reasoning that... "Well, My Elder, Senior Minister, used to be an alcoholic. But, he's recovered now. And, he's able to drink Jack Daniels, in the office of the mission -- and he showed me in the Bible, "why" he could drinkl again, without it being a problem. He was recovered."
So, the younger minister said to himself, "Surely, just a little bit of beer won't hurt me!"
Within three weeks of that day, the younger minister got drunk. The SWAT team was called and they arrested him and sent him to prison for a few years.
The Senior Minister, the ex-alcoholic, that had recovered, and had become an ex-AA for 25 years... ended up drinking himself to death in an alley on skid-row.
I often think of this story, because after the younger minister finally got out of prison... about seven years later, he ended up in AA, got sober, and he is still sober to this day -- while his boss and Senior minister, the recovered alcoholic -- drank himself to death.
Why do I think of this story often? Because... it's my story. I was the younger minister.
Thanks for letting me share!