Having a birthday in May is a blessing. Not only are you more likely to have decent weather (cool and sunny! My favourite) but you have a choice of two bank holidays to celebrate on. As an early May baby, I celebrate on the first bank holiday. It’s all about May Day!
I enjoy a good party as much as the next person does. However, I’ve never been one for getting drunk just to celebrate the passing of another year. I know, that makes me something of an anomaly among many of my friends. So my birthdays, and every other night out, has become a balancing act between enjoying the party and not getting swept up in it.
Why do I drink alcohol?
Believe it or not, the Bible does not ban Christians from drinking alcohol. In fact Paul encourages Timothy to have a little wine but it is suspected that it was for his health. I was raised to not see alcohol as “evil” because of its effects. Rather, it was a drink to be enjoyed and savoured in company or when relaxing. Always, always, it was to be treated with respect.
What did this mean? That by 8 years old, I was having wine at meals ‘French style’, watered down. By 12, I was having a full glass to myself. At 15, I was picky enough to get annoyed when we had white wine with beef or red with fish. Once I was at university, I had little interest in getting wasted on a night out.
Why do I go out?
When I started at university, I really struggled with the idea of night clubs and staying out all night. Then I went on a night out. Believe it or not, they’re actually fun! There is very little I enjoy more than dancing the night away with my friends before indulging in a tray of chips, cheese and mayo. And when you find the right club, it is a match made in heaven! The right music, friends, and post-night food equals a brilliant night to remember.
The biggest lesson I have learnt over the years is that the right night out doesn’t require alcohol for it to be fun. In fact, I’ve had some great nights when I’ve been high on nothing but J2Os and lime&sodas. Okay, so the sugar probably helped but my point remains: alcohol is not necessary to have fun on a night out.
Finding a balance between enjoying alcohol and just being drunk
Is it really a challenge to find a balance? A large part of me wants to say no. It is my choice what I drink and I can say “no” to that gin&tonic or pint of cider. The other part finds it a lot more difficult to say “no” to a glass of expertly chosen gin or a single variety cider from Somerset.
Why is it a challenge to find the balance? Because I enjoy wine, cider, gin and even tequila. Because I don’t believe that depriving myself is the right way to live a full life. But neither do I believe that as a Christian it is right before God to drink to the point of drunkeness. Really, who wants to have a fantastic night that they’re going to forget or have fuzzy memories of because of alcohol?
Balancing my birthday
So what am I going to do about my birthday night out? Well, for starters, I’m still going out with my friends to enjoy a cocktail and dancing. Apart from that, it’s down to willpower, prayer and choice.
The reality is that I choose to find a balance because I believe that getting drunk is not right for me or by God. I also know I don’t want a hangover. Those are three good reasons for finding the balance between enjoying a drink and getting wasted.
The post Finding Balance on my Birthday || Me, Alcohol and Nights Out first appeared on CounterCultural. CounterCouture.