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Myron W., New York City.
(p. 370 in 1st edition.)
Myron sobered up in April
His is another story that
could have been titled, "Fired Again." He was fired repeatedly,
but often could find a still better job. During the Great
Depression he was making $10,000 a year -- an enormous salary
at that time.
He would stop drinking for
weeks or even months, then begin to drink moderately. He
could do that for a time, but soon he would be back to problem
drinking. How many times this happened, he didn't know and
didn't even want to know.
His story could also have
been called "The Car Smasher." During this period he completely
smashed nine new automobiles, but escaped without injury
to himself. Even this, he said, didn't convince him that
there might be a God who was looking out for him, perhaps
in answer to the prayers of others.
He abused his friends; he
didn't want to, but when it was a question of a friendship
or a drink, he usually took the drink.
In a final effort to escape,
he moved to New York thinking he could leave his reputation
and troubles behind him. He was hired by eight nationally
known organizations and fired just as quickly when they
had checked his references. He felt the world was against
him. They wouldn't give him a chance. So he continued his
drinking and took any mediocre job he could get.
He visited churches occasionally,
hoping to find something that would help him. On one of
these visits he met a girl he thought could be the answer
to all of his problems. He was honest with her about his
problems, but she knew better than to marry a man thinking
she could reform him. She suggested prayer instead. And
she told him "You must be decent for your own sake. And
because you want to be decent, not because someone else
wants you to be." Myron then started bargaining with God
but found that God didn't work that way. He got neither
the girl nor his old job back.
Six months later he was
sitting in a small hotel, full of remorse and desperate.
A middle-aged man approached him and said, "Do you really
want to stop drinking?" When he answered yes, the man wrote
down a name and address. "When you are sure you do, go and
see this man." He walked away. Myron tucked the address
into his pocket along with a nickel for subway fare, just
in case he ever decided to really quit.
A week later he found himself
in the presence of the man whose address was in his pocket.
His story was incredible. Myron couldn't believe it, but
he had the proof. He met other men whose stories convinced
him that in the ranks of men who had been heavy drinkers
he was an amateur and a sissy. What he heard was hard to
believe but he wanted to believe it, and wanted to try it
to see if it would work for him. It worked.
He was reconciled to the
fact that he might have to wash dishes, scrub floors, or
do some menial task for many years in order to re-establish
himself as a sober, sane, and reliable person. Although
he still wanted and hoped for the better things in life,
he was prepared to accept whatever was due him.
Good things began to happen
to him. He applied for a position with a national organization.
When asked why he had left a previous job, he told the truth.
He had been fired for being a drunk. He got the job.
He was sober three and a
half years when he wrote his story. Those years were the
happiest of his life. He had married a woman who cared enough
for him to tell him the nasty truth when he needed to hear
He continued to receive
obstacles of various kinds. He failed at business at least
twenty times. But he was not discouraged, sad or resentful.
He knew that only good would come from the experience.