Grandpa's Bad Habit


Grandpa chewed tobacco as he had for many years. Guilt weighed heavily on him because he couldn't seem to give it up.

Now and again he would make it a couple of days, but his will power gave out and it was back to the plug of tobacco. None of the other deacon's at his church smoked or chewed, but some of them had in the past. They had quit. Why couldn't he? Was it because he loved it too much?

One night after a deacon's meeting at the church, he asked his fellow deacons to pray with him and ask the Lord to remove his desire for this accursed habit. They were only too happy to pray with Grandpa. He went home feeling good and did not chew that night.

Morning came and lest he be tempted, Grandpa went to the porch and flung away his small tin box with the square of tobacco inside. He watched it go sailing into a grove of trees. With a great deal of satisfaction, he went in and had breakfast.

Two days passed and Grandpa was craving his tobacco. After a hard day at his shoe repair shop, he came home to a cup of tea on the porch. Sitting there, his eyes were drawn to the grove of trees where he had flung his tobacco.

Several minutes passed before Grandpa decided he should go and retrieve his little tin box. He would just toss the tobacco and keep the box. It was foolish to have thrown it away, being a perfect size for the pocket. He walked slowly, telling himself he would not take a chew of the tobacco. He repeated to himself that it was just the little box he wanted. However, the entire time he was walking, he knew in his heart, he would take his pocket knife out and cut a sliver off the plug and taste the explosion of flavor as he chewed down on it. All the while, the craving was on his tongue and in his mind. He would be satisfied only temporarily. He promised himself that he would quit, this would be his last chew or he would quit tomorrow when this plug of tobacco was gone. When he got to the trees, he fell to his knees and prayed for strength to help him throw the tobacco away.

Convinced he could quit, he began to walk around and look for the box. Within a few minutes he spotted it.

The color caught his eye, but the odor of the dead mouse laying beside it was the magnet that drew him to it. When the little box landed, the lid flew open. Mr. Mouse had investigated, chewed a large portion of the tobacco which killed it just a few feet away from his treasure. Grandpa had his sign as clearly as if it had been written. He felt that God had spoken to him. The tobacco killed the mouse. Give up the tobacco or it could kill you too. He left the mouse, tobacco and little box covered with dirt, among the trees.

The picture of the dead mouse was imprinted forever in his mind as a constant reminder. Grandpa never took another chew of tobacco. His bad habit was gone.

Clara Wersterfer CBWEST@webtv.net

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