When Tempted, Seek Support
“Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” (James 5:16 NIV)
RAMBLINGS from Evan’s dad – For the last couple of days I have been in New Orleans for a meeting. Yesterday one of my associates told me he had never been to New Orleans, but had heard about it and really wanted to walk down Bourbon Street. Our other associate, who has been here countless times, told him he had to experience it. The two of them then turned around and asked if I would go to dinner with them. My last visit had been 4+ years ago with the family. Evan was fascinated with the place and the whole story of Katrina. Those memories came back, and I reluctantly agreed.
We parked the car on Canal Street, walked a few blocks to the intersection of Canal and Bourbon Street, and then we turned up Bourbon. Things changed as the music and the people got louder. We started looking for the restaurant we wanted to try, Arnoud’s. Once we found it and got inside, the world quieted down, and we enjoyed a great cajun dinner.
A little over an hour later when we reappeared from the restaurant on to the street, I was surprised at how it had gotten even louder and more crowded. It reminded me of a carnival where they like to surprise you with different side shows. As we continued walking down Bourbon Street, things got louder, and spiritually even darker. We were invited in to numerous places where they assured us we would be entertained with the finest in adult entertainment, no matter our taste. I found myself moving from the sidewalk and the doorways to the middle of the street (open only for pedestrians) to maximize the distance between me and the doormen.
My two associate wanted to step in to Pat O’Briens to listen to some music. We sat there for the next hour or so, listening to some decent Billy Joel want-a-be’s, playing the piano and signing requested songs. My two side kicks had a couple of adult beverages and bought me my drink of choice, Diet Coke on the rocks…shaken not stirred, one lime, salted rim. 😉
Around 11pm, I told them we probably needed to be heading back to the hotel. We retraced our steps down Sodom Street, I mean Bourbon Street, and somewhat surprised, I found my car intact where we had left it several hours earlier. We climbed in and drove away, our night of “debauchery” coming to an end.
I have a couple of observations from last night. 1.) when it comes to Bourbon Street, you have to get over the smell (kind of a combination of urine, vomit, and sweat) 2.) Visually, the area can be appealing to us because of the lights, the people, and the vices offered. 3.) It can definitely be a place people watchers can be entertained, as my two friends watched a tap dancer outside our window during dinner. 4) Its also a place that can slowly suck you in, if you don’t have some accountability.
Why did I reluctantly revisit Bourbon Street, a place I don’t particularly like? When served dinner, my two associates waited to dig into their dishes, because they knew I would want to bless the food. Walking down the street by all the businesses offering adult entertainment, neither associate suggested us visiting those places. I reluctantly went because I thought having “dad” along with them, might help keep them out of trouble. As we walked in to our hotel around 11:45, I’d like to think I was right. Accountability really is the key…
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! (Ephesians 4:9-10)