i’m a drunk

Written by Duane Scott

GENERAL EDITOR I'm a writer, nature lover, a friend, a singer (in the shower), a Cheetos lover and a Snuggie hater. And God and I are buddies.

March 29, 2011

I’m a drunk.

I slide my car, sleek like the night around me, into gear and drive. Tucking the half empty bottle of alcohol between my legs, I loosely grip the steering wheel, and rub my hands along its cold leather exterior.

Tonight, I am nobody.

I’m just a guy in a car.

No responsibilities… no guilt… no pain…

I feel the effects of the drink. Liquid happiness, they call it… and I agree. It makes me warm, in spite of the cold night.

I clutch with both hands at the bottle between my legs, bringing it desperately to my lips as I push my knee snug against the underside of the steering wheel to hold my car steady on the narrow road.

The stars alone witness me in this state of sublime chaos.

My tires kiss the rumble strips once. Quickly, I grasp the steering wheel and stare at my knuckles white with fear. In my haste, I drop the bottle to the floor of my car and can now feel the splash of liquid against my feet.

“I’m crazy…” I think, and then the thought somehow makes me smile. My drunken laughter momentarily drowns out the humming of my tires on the asphalt.

This is who I am.

I realized this last Sunday as I sat in church, after the pastor had presented the idea that God wanted us on the Highway of Saints. Closing my mind to the daydreaming, I glanced at the words in my Bible he had used to back up his thought.

“The highway of the upright is to depart from evil; he that keepeth his way preserveth his soul.” Proverbs 16:17


“I’m a drunk.”

I wrote it in my notebook, and immediately wondered if my bysitter had seen the words. Quickly, I closed the pages and shoved my pen back in my pocket, ashamed of who I was and what I’d written.

Closing my eyes, I allowed God to speak.

“My son, you’ve allowed the sins of this world to intoxicate your mind. You’re driving life’s highway drunk. And although those rumble strips jar you back to reality… sometimes rather harshly, I’ve placed them there out of love… to guide and protect you.”

I relaxed my head against the back of the pew and continued talking to God.

“Your life, who you are, Duane, is in a position you probably didn’t ask for… probably didn’t want. But I placed you there. Today, you’re driving drunk. And those watching can see it. Tomorrow, you don’t have to be driving drunk. You can hold up a standard. You can show the world what it means to live being departed from evil. You can show what it means to live sober.”

Solemnly, I flipped open my notebook and wrote these words:

“And in the face of all this chaos… this mess of who I am, God still loves me.”

If you had been my bysitter last Sunday, and happened to glance over at the words I was writing, you would have seen tear drops of humility and thankfulness had blurred these last words.

-Duane Scott

42 Comments

  1. Ryan Tate

    This is powerful and the analogy is perfect. What wretched and broken people we are! Praise be to God who saves and rescues us. (Rom 7:24-25). Thanks Duane.

    Reply
    • Duane Scott

      Ryan,

      It took me realizing that I was no different than the town drunk before this all made sense to me. Sometimes, we Christians think we’re better than everyone else. God loves everyone of us despite our wretchedness and I’m oh, so thankful!

      I appreciate you.

      -DS

      Reply
  2. Jason Vana

    Wow bud – what a powerful post. I never thought of sin this way before – driving drunk down a road. Thanks for sharing this.

    Reply
    • Duane Scott

      Jason,

      I hadn’t thought of it either that way. And for a person who has never been drunk, it was difficult to write the first part. 🙂 Thanks for giving your support.

      -DS

      Reply
      • Jason Vana

        I bet! I actually was wondering at first if the drunk driving part was something you actually did recently, since you said yesterday that this post was going to be brutally honest.

        You definitely have a gift bud. Keep it up!

        Reply
        • Duane Scott

          Thank you Jason…

          If you call yourself a writer, everything you write hurts just a little bit…

          And sometimes a writer has to get out of his comfort zone…

          So ya, this was a difficult one to write.

          Thanks for your support.

          DS

          Reply
  3. Cathy

    Great post! Glad I kept seeing it pop up on my Twitter feed….had to look. 🙂

    Reply
    • Duane Scott

      Cathy,

      Thanks for your support! I’m glad you peeked at it. 🙂

      -DS

      Reply
  4. Jeff Jordan

    Great post, Duane! Good wake up call.

    Reply
    • Duane Scott

      Thanks Jeff! 😉

      Reply
  5. Kristinherdy

    that’s some awesome imagery, there. I can’t tell you how many times my “better sense” has been taken over by sin that I can’t put down, and allow to drive my life.

    Reply
    • Duane Scott

      Kirsten,

      What’s scary is there is a certain amount of freedom in not listening to that “better sense”. It’s when we hit those rumble strips that leave us shaking…

      Thanks for reading.

      -DS

      Reply
  6. K.C. Pro

    Whoa. Powerful. Thank you for sharing, Duane.

    Reply
    • Duane Scott

      @thatguykc

      Thanks for your support!

      Reply
  7. Jeanwise

    This is powerful and very very honest. Struck my heart and will linger with me today. I find these are the best posts – the ones who stay with you and you find yourself throughout the day, discussing it with others and with God. Despite it all, God loves us! wow. Thanks Duane

    Reply
    • Duane Scott

      I agree Jean.

      The post when people truly allow their opinions, whether on course or not, to flow out to the readers are the ones I like too.

      I call it the “where the rubber meets the road” moments.

      🙂

      DS

      Reply
  8. Anonymous

    This is such a great analogy to how we go through life! Thank you so much for being willing to share this!!

    Reply
    • Duane Scott

      @AmBlessedBeyond Thanks so much for reading and sharing your support. And you’re welcome. I’d share more, but I’m all wrote out. Or is it “written” out. Gah. See what I mean?

      -DS

      Reply
    • Duane Scott

      @AmBlessedBeyond Thanks so much for reading and sharing your support. And you’re welcome. I’d share more, but I’m all wrote out. Or is it “written” out. Gah. See what I mean?

      -DS

      Reply
  9. Jason Wert

    “And in the face of all this chaos… this mess of who I am, God still loves me.”

    I love this. What a great thing to keep remembering in the midst of everything we face.

    Reply
    • Duane Scott

      @JCWert

      I’m praying for you Jason. 🙂 I just read your post and I am wishing you well… AND a job. 🙂

      Reply
  10. Dusty Rayburn

    Duane,

    This is by far my favorite post of yours.

    What a powerful and moving analogy… Too often I have found myself “driving drunk” … That is not what I want… More importantly, that is not what God wants for me. May we live “filled with the Spirit”.

    Reply
    • Duane Scott

      Dusty,

      Thanks for your support! And to think last night when I laid in bed trying to sleep I couldn’t get myself to quit worrying about this post. I don’t know why I do that. That’s what I’ll write about next Tuesday maybe. 🙂

      -DS

      Reply
  11. Sue Wilbur

    WOW! As a recovering alcoholic, with nearly 20 years of sobriety, I can unfortunately relate to driving drunk. Have never looked at it from this perspective though, and I thank you. VERY powerful.

    Reply
    • Duane Scott

      Sue,

      I’m so proud of you! 🙂

      I hope to see you around as I’d be interested to know more of your story.

      Sincerely,

      DS

      Reply
  12. nance|marie

    wanting to feel no pain, yet, in a position to hurt others.
    interesting post, brother.

    Reply
    • Duane Scott

      Nance,

      That’s an interesting way to put it.

      And sadly, so true.

      DS

      Reply
  13. jasonS

    Great way to describe it, DS. Powerful imagery. We need Jesus and His love and grace, now and always. Thanks man.

    Reply
  14. Karen Owens

    That post had me there…. mentally right with your words as if i were in the driving seat myself. Thank you for your imagery that helped me understand how much we are in need of him every waking moment of each day..

    thank you.

    Reply
    • Karen Owens

      ok this comment was from me.. not my wife 🙂

      Reply
  15. Adam

    hahaha.. ok that comment was from me.. not my wife 😉

    Reply
    • Duane Scott

      @adamandkaren

      Seriously dude. Here… AND on Twitter! But here’s the cool thing. Obviously, you and your wife have no secrets. You share identities with everything. To me, that’s pretty cool. 🙂

      -DS

      Reply
  16. Jeffrey Holton

    Duane, you propose a fascinating metaphor here that can be mixed and extended fruitfully quite a long way.

    We need a recovery program.

    My name is Jeff, and I’m a sinner.

    Reply
    • Duane Scott

      @jeffholton

      No offense to anyone else, but this comment is my favorite.

      My name is Duane Scott, and I too, am a sinner.

      Reply
  17. Janie

    Very sobering Duane. One of your blogs I shall not forget. I’ve been on both sides literally, as you know. Neither is good or what God intends for us. Janie

    Reply
    • Duane Scott

      Janie,

      You speak so honestly. I love that and I love you! 😉

      -DS

      Reply
  18. Randy Kinnick

    Duane, so powerfully honest…and impacting! Thank you for your transparency. I find that being transparent is very healing and freeing from shame. I recently received an email from a reader of my blog that was condemning and critical because I admitted to having an “addictive personality” and that I often struggle with sin. I guess that got me a little gun shy. I will not let it keep me from following your example of genuine honesty in the journey. For those who haven’t gone there, there can be no understanding of the benefit it is to us and to those who hear (or read) us. It is also NOT an excuse for sin or a flippancy toward the holiness of God. If anything, the conviction of such experiences is a testimony to the holiness of God…which is tempered by His grace.

    Thanks for sharing this. It was a blessing to me. You’re a gifted writer!

    Reply
    • Princess Lilac

      Be bold, Brother!

      Reply
  19. Sheila Lagrand

    Hmm. While we were preparing dinner tonight, my husband Rich commented on a newspaper article about a man who’d been in his chair for TWO YEARS and grown fused to it.

    Bonus son Ryan asks: Was he obese?
    Rich nods.
    Ryan says: I don’t understand how someone can let themself go like that.
    Ignoring his mixed pronouns, I comment: Everyone’s is letting himself go in some fashion. For people who struggle with food, it can be easy to see. But everyone, EVERYONE, is desperate about some aspect of her being.

    Is that similar to what you mean? It feels resonant to me.

    Reply
  20. Princess Lilac

    Real.

    That’s what God has shown you. It’s real. Life or death. And really, without His help, it will be death. Gritty, messy, horrid death.

    His way saves our lives. And that’s just as real. Saving grace. I’m breathing it in tonight.

    Reply
  21. Janie

    I woke up this morning thinking once again about this powerful blog you wrote. My thoughts were how you allowed the Holy Spirit to speak words of conviction that penetrated your heart, and with that you spoke words from God to us with that lead to that same conviction. Those words were written with firmness but with such love for your brothers and sisters in the Lord. Lastly I would like to say that your Southern gal is so blessed to have a true man of God for her husband. I love you Duane Scott. Janie

    Reply
  22. Moe

    Dude, this rocked my world. Thank you. So hard to stay within those white lines. Wow!

    Good work man.

    Reply

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i’m a drunk

by Duane Scott time to read: 3 min
44