Smart Steps


The February/March issue of AARP has a fine article by Donovan Webster in which he describes his slow decline into alcoholism. He writes of the painful price paid because of the car accident he caused in August 2014 in which Wayne T. White died because of Webster’s being drunk while driving.  Webster, who served two years in prison for involuntarily manslaughter, writes that as he approaches sixty: “Virtually everything in my life burned to the waterline. But I have realized that there’s some great power in being around long enough to comprehend that no matter the damage we’ve done, a new door will open. No matter what age you are, staging a comeback is only a matter of taking the rest of your life seriously and making the next smart step, and the next. Is there really any other option?” (my italics)

Webster freely acknowledges the pain he brought to the White and Webster families. His article does not offer excuses, and his pain is real as he goes about “staging a comeback.” A well-know and respected lecturer at UVA, an editor, journalist, and writer, he has a high bar from his past to try and regain. However, his quoted words above give assurance that, with the help of a few friends and family, he is going to try. Like us all, he has his demons like anxiety, and he knows them. But he writes that he will make “smart steps” because he has no other option.

Webster does not mention God as an option, and he may or may not know or believe in that option for making “smart steps.” Whether Webster knows or cares or believes, I offer him this passage of Paul writing in Philippians 4:6: “Be careful [anxious] for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made know unto God.” Even in the 1st Century, people suffered anxiety concerning new doors of life and where they would lead. Webster, like the Philippians Paul writes to, questions “what the point of this journey has been.” That is an honest question, and I suggest that the answer can be found in the quoted verse from Paul. By prayer, supplication with thanksgiving, we will see the point of this journey. By loving and using alcohol or fame or money that cannot return that love, we will see only pain.

My Granny Susie described worry and anxiety as “Like a rocking chair. It will keep you busy but won’t get you anywhere.”  Like Paul and Dr. Charles Stanley, who described anxiety as “a choice and bondage.” Granny Susie knew to make her requests to God.

Webster asks if there is any other option than taking steps one after the other; and Paul, Dr. Stanley, and Granny Susie offer that there is.







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