Sunday, August 3, 2014

It's Party Time!

Dear Readers,

It’s party time! Workers from all over the world can’t wait until the work week is over and they can “relax” on the weekend by enjoying themselves at a popular party. It seems social media has heightened partying to a new level. Partiers share pictures and everyone wants to get in on the action of the best ones.

Being a longsuffering fan of all Cleveland sports I shared the excitement of Johnny Manziel coming to the Browns. It only took a couple weeks before there were news stories every weekend of “Johnny Football” being shown in various stages of drunkenness at parties of famous people.

My wife and I have a degree of involvement with Mission to Amish  People (MAP) and one area of large concern to Joe Keim, MAP Director, is that of young former Amish people engaging in raucous parties.

What’s at stake here? Johnny Football says that what he does on the weekends is his business, and as long as he performs well at Browns practices and in games, that is all that matters. He is after all a young man who just wants to have some fun.

I’ve been there. I was not a “party animal” like some of my friends when I was young, but I did my share of partying. Why did I go?

I firmly believe I was a lost soul in search of something. I wanted to fit in. I wanted to meet people, especially a “soul”-mate to share my life with. I did not know any other way to happiness.

It bothered me after several party incidents that I got the title “Arnie the Drunk”. (Note; My nickname back then was Big Arnie.) My friends chided me, even though most of them were much bigger partiers than I was.

I’m thankful that I was more of a cautious person than some of my friends. I always felt very poorly after one of these events. I was afraid of getting found out by my parents and disappointing them. I was also afraid of getting arrested, because one thing I learned was that parties sometimes got out of control with fighting and arguing, mostly over relationships and “who did who wrong?” I won’t even mention the driving home drunk after a party and what a disaster that could be.

Those days seem like a distant memory, and I’m glad they are. Sometimes when I hear a song from that era I feel a deep sadness of the time I wasted going down roads that I now consider “dead ends”.

So where are you? Are you a partier in search of happiness and relationships? Do you just want to have a good time and think that it’s your business and nobody else’s.

I don’t want to chide, but I do want to warn that the end of partying is sorrow, not just in this life, but in the next life. Please take to heart what Jesus said in the following verse:

“You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it." Matthew 7:13-14.

There is the greatest party ever in heaven awaiting you if you enter through narrow gate Jesus talks about. It will take some time, energy, and difficult times, but it is all worth it.

See you next time,