“The Grace of God”
by Ma. Hannah Sanchez
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Sixteen years ago my father quit smoking by his own will. All through out those years I didn't understand the significance of the choice he made. The only thing that I know is that smoking is bad because it will destroy my body. It was only while studying biopsychology that I began to understand and appreciate the importance of his decision.
Nicotine is the major psychoactive drug ingredient in cigarettes. According to what I've learned, nicotine indirectly cause release of dopamine in the brain regions that controls pleasure. This may explain the pleasure smokers derived from smoking. Also, nicotine though increase brain activity causes muscle tone to relax which is why many smokers reason that sit makes them relax. Technically, they are only partially right and partially wrong. Studies have showed that levels of tension are normal during smoking but tension greatly increase when they are not. Thus in order to maintain the relaxing effect they need to continually smoke. In addition to this, there is also such a thing called drug tolerance. Drug tolerance occur that when while taking in drugs, the body will adjust itself in such a way that it will reduce the impact of the drug and consider the drug as part of its natural processes. A good example will be that of a sleeping pill. The first time you will take it, one pill is enough to make you sleep. However as you continually take it, you will notice that it will no longer work. That is because the body is now able to adjust to the effects of drugs in terms of sleeping. So you will be taking in more dosage of sleeping pill in order to fell asleep. However, if you'll try to quit, the body will undergo what we call withdrawal. Since the body has adjusted its system in such a way that the drug is naturally part of it, no longer taking in the the pill will cause a disruption on the body system. Usually withdrawals will take the form of opposite to the effect of a drug. In the case of a sleeping pill, the person will experience some sleepless nights for starters. The same is applicable to smoking. If you are or once a habitual smoker, you know what its like to go for a day without a smoking. Withdrawal symptoms will come in the form of depression, anxiety, irritability, constipation and difficulty in sleeping and constipation. This is one of the reasons why 70% who tried to smoke became addicted and 90% who tried to quit smoking failed. However the greatest irony is that while we see other forms of drugs as illegal, people can just smoke anywhere. I have as much as I can, explain the effects of smoking in lay man's term.
After learning some basic knowledge in how drugs occur affect the body and why it is very addicting I began to consider what happened to my father 16 years ago. The truth was he was strongly advice by the doctor to stop smoking. He was becoming very sick at that time primarily due to respiratory infection. He was once angrily told by the doctor that if he wont stop smoking than he better just stop seeing any doctor. His physical condition continued to grow worst until he just firmly decided to quit smoking. He was able to live another 16 years and is still alive to this day. After everything that I learned I am glad that dad is a part of the 10% who were able to successfully quit smoking. But how about the 90% who can't find the strength to stop? How about those people who are hook on alcohol, marijuana, cocaine and opiates? How about those people who are hook on sleeping pills? By the way , though the effect of sleeping pills will deteriorate in terms of sleep the respiratory vital centers of the brain is not able to develop any tolerance against it. Overdose of sleeping pills or any depressant drugs like alcohol can and will cause respiratory shutdown leading to death. How about those people who have habits that they really could not stop? Who will help them? We can always say that there are experts who can help them but even if they will finally be release from the addiction or any habits they will still die. If they die without Jesus, what else can anyone do?
I'm not a great Christian. I'm a typical girl who always seems to have all the reasons on why I shouldn't be the one to share the gospel. In fact I find it kind of weird and yet amazing that God allowed me to write this article. Right now while typing this article I am surrounded by people who are blinded. Right now I am in the Internet cafe surrounded with kids enjoying the Internet services. Each one of them is going to hell. What am I suppose to do? What will you do?
My father did not know God 16 years ago. He only learned about Jesus and what the true gospel was at least 3 years ago. Yes he did quit smoking on his own and yes there will be many more people that may find the strength to quit. But no one, no matter how good the person is, can save himself from hell. As a final conclusion, let me remind you that the real reason why my father was able to live for another 13 years of his life before coming to Jesus Christ was because God willed it. It was the Grace of God.
Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
14"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
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