By Deborah Coty

Navigating the winding road leading up the mountain to our cabin, I tuned my car radio to the only station it could pick up in the Smokies: country.

Now I’ve got nothing against country music. In fact, it’s the only thing I listened to every single morning for 18 years growing up. Mama would have the radio blaring country music as she flapped jacks and poached eggs, so I knew all about Lucille leaving four hungry children and a crop in the field.

And the day Billie Joe McAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge.

But that was then and this is now. Country music has changed a lot.  

As I gripped the wheel to focus on the narrow mountain road, the gal on the radio warbled on and on about wanting to do something crazy. About chucking her simple life and trading it all for a wild night on the town drinking and carousing with her friends.

What fun, she said. Living a little, she called it.

And then I recalled the two invitations “for a little fun” I’d received that week – both involved bars and drinking. 

Um. How do I say this nicely?

No. No thanks. No way.

I’m no prude; I like to have fun as much as the next gal. But perhaps my idea of fun is tempered a bit because of exposure to what alcohol can do to a person and ultimately to a family.

It’s not pretty. It’s not fun. And it’s not living, even a little.

Give me Papa God’s simple pleasures. That’s fun for me. Walking in the early morning woods, chasing fireflies at sundown, feeling the tickle of a pony nuzzling my palm, cuddling with a loved one, good conversation with friends over a quiet dinner table, enjoying great music, reading a book I can’t put down, making fudge and licking the pan.

Simple pleasures, but not shallow. Like the beautiful sunsets and velvet starlit nights I imagine Jesus enjoyed during his time on earth. He showed us the deeper, richer, more joyful meanings of simplicity.

You don’t need to be drunk to be intoxicated with life.

“My soul thirsts for God, for the living God,”Psalm 42:2, NASB.