I’m a Texas Ranger’s fan and a Josh Hamilton fan. My heart was saddened this weekend when I heard the story about the Josh Hamilton pictures of him being drunk and partying with three girls last January. According to his own words, “It all started when I thought I could have just one drink.” He said a few hours later he had disappointed himself, his wife, his children and his Savior. The very next day, he told all to his family and the Rangers, but the media is just now getting ahold of the story.
The website that released the half-naked party pictures said, “Josh Hamilton claims he’s been sober since October 2005. Since then he’s rejuvenated his career, saved his marriage, devoted himself to Jesus, and become America’s flawed, homerun-derby hero. Last winter, while he was alone in Tempe, Arizona, Hambone kinda slipped.”
Josh Hamilton said this about it, “I’m embarrassed about it, personally, for the Rangers, for my wife, my children and my family,” Hamilton said at his locker with a handful of his teammates joining the crowd of media that had formed. “It reinforces one of the things that I can’t have is alcohol. It’s unfortunate that it happened. I was out there getting ready for the season and took my focus off the number one factor in my recovery — my relationship with Christ. I hate that this happened. I am human.”
I’m not writing this to judge what Josh Hamilton did wrong this past January. But what all this reminds me of is my hate for alcohol, and the power it has over people. Despite alcohol being sold as something that will provide fun and fellowship, in my line of work I have only seen the negative side of the drug.
I’ve counseled and watched helplessly as numerous couples have ended their marriage because of the alcoholism. I have been threatened by drunken husbands to stay out of their business when it comes to them physically abusing their wives. I’ve done funerals for teenagers who have died too soon, because they were experimenting with alcohol. I have had to search for words to explain to children why their daddy would hit their mom. I’ve buried two of my closest friends in this world due to alcohol. And believe me, I could go on…
I’m still rooting for Josh Hamilton, his marriage, his faith and his career. But just like me, Josh will continue to make mistakes on a daily basis. I’m just praying that relapsing into alcohol isn’t one of them. While alcohol may provide fun and fellowship for some, I just haven’t seen that side of it. I’ve only seen the side that involves destruction, embarrassment and hurt.
(BTW – I love what Josh Hamilton’s wife, Katie, had to say about all of this: read it here)