Are You Willing?

“At noon I prepared myself a hasty snack, then pushed the dishes aside and spread the Bible out on the table before me. Beside it I placed my coffee cup and a freshly lighted cheroot (cigarette). After a while I became aware of the smoke from the cheroot drifting across the open pages of the Bible. Could it be right, I asked myself, that the smoke should come between me and the Bible? It seemed almost like a veil, obscuring my vision of Christ.”

“I began to consider the part that smoking played in my life. I had smoked regularly since college. …no meal was complete unless it was rounded off by the same… in moments of pressure or frustration my first reaction was invariably the same - to reach for a cheroot.”

“I glanced down at the cheroot that lay that very moment burning in the ashtray before me. Was is my imagination? Or was there some sinister power in it that held me captive? I felt like a bird fascinated by the eyes of a snake. One thing I knew - by no imaginable exercise of my will could I renounce the attraction that cheroot exercised over me.”

“Unbidden prayer  rose to my lips. God, You know that I can never give that thing up. But if You to take it from me, I am willing to let it go.”

“Somewhere below my diaphragm there was a sense of release, as though a knot was being untied. The release found expression in a deep, long sigh, my body drained of its strength. Then I picked up the still burning cheroot and pressed it down into the ashtray, until it broke and crumbled in my hand.”

“Only at the end of the day did I realize that a miracle had taken place. Ten hours had passed without my once reaching for a cheroot! Indeed I had not returned to them even in my mind! For all the interest that I now had in cheroots, they might as well have ceased to exist.”


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