On this date in history, 42 years ago, President Ronald Reagan nearly died in office. On March 30, 1981, less than three months into his first term, Reagan was shot by John Hinckley as he left a Washington hotel.
A few days later, Reagan explained what he did wrong, with his typical sense of humor. “I forgot to duck,” he told his wife Nancy.
Reagan borrowed that line from the great heavyweight boxing champion Jack Dempsey. After his shocking knockout loss to Gene Tunney, Dempsey explained to his wife what had happened: “I forgot to duck.”
Sometimes, staying sober is that simple. We need to know when to duck. When you see an attractive person walking toward you at the mall, duck into a store. When you see a sexual scene unfolding on a television program, duck into the next room. When your buddies move the conversation onto sexual topics, duck out of that conversation.
Jesus taught us to pray, “Do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (Matthew 6:13). Readers Digest version: “When temptation comes, know when to duck.”
Recovery Step: It is great to learn various recovery tools, attend meetings, and do therapy. But later today, when you see an incoming missile, fired from the gun of relapse, learn to duck.