Listen…

So a few months back I managed to cut loose my desire to vape. Medical opinions aside, whether it’s more or less safe than cigarettes, I could care less. It was a vice, an addiction, and difficult to kick. Now after realizing every time that I stopped vaping how ridiculously difficult it was to quit, I decided – never again. Well… then I started smoking again.

Now again – stupidity of smoking aside, despite the fact that it killed my Dad and my Uncle, I started up again. When I was younger, I could casually smoke. Light up, puff away, and move on. Older I got, casual smoking lead to regular smoking, lead to me not being able to stop nearly as easily. So here I was again, puffing away and unable to stop on my own.

Are we sensing a trend yet?

I’d been trying to quit again for weeks. I’d make it a day, zero desire to smoke, but sure as the sun rises I’d walk into the gas station and grab a pack. I’d light up and immediately hate myself. Whatever stress triggered that need to smoke couldn’t compare to how awful I felt after taking that drag. God doesn’t want us to hate ourselves, he wants us to listen to Him.

I can’t tell you how many times I would light up an old smoke after deciding to quit, a half-smoked remnant of the previous day’s idiocy. Don’t even get me started on how often I’d crush a half full pack and throw it into the garbage can, only to dig down and retrieve it. One time I even went so far as walking outside in single digit weather, tearing open the trash, and well…

So last night in my malaise over my seeming inability to put the cigarettes down, I prayed.

Then I saw it. I was taking the remaining smokes out of the pack, cutting them into teeny tiny pieces, and discarding them. Then I took the small sauce pan on my porch that doubled as my ash-tray and filled it with water to destroy the butts that remained. After seeing that, I did it. God knows I’m a visual learner, He shows me what I need to do when I can’t do it myself.

I prayed, I listened, and I obeyed the response without question.

Not going to count minutes, hours, or days here. Just going to move on and thank God.

And Samuel said, “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.

1 Samuel 15:22
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