The man meekly walked into his first counseling session and sat down in the plush chair across from Dr. Brooks.
“How are you doing today?” asked Dr. Brooks, very politely.
“Just fine,” replied the man. “I’ve had a lot of trouble with lust lately and I thought maybe I could benefit from talking with a professional like you.”
“Jumping right in I see,” said the doctor, smiling. “That’s good. The first thing I want you to know is that the problem you are facing is not an uncommon one. Men of all ages struggle with this particular issue. What is uncommon is being willing to admit it and seek out help.”
“I suppose,” said the man, not quite sure how to respond to Dr. Brooks upbeat mood and positive attitude.
“The first thing I want you to realize is that this struggle you are having – that lust in general – is a sin. Just like stealing, drunkenness, or even murder, lust is sinful and must be dealt with accordingly,” said Dr. Brooks, suddenly slightly more seriously.
“I know,” said the man. “If I didn’t think it was a sin, I wouldn’t think it was a problem. That’s why I’m here.”
“Wonderful,” retorted the doctor. “Then we can get right to work. I think the first thing we need to do is figure out what triggers your lust and make sure you stay away from those things. Then we need to make sure that you yourself don’t do anything that unnecessarily triggers your little habit.”
“That seems to make sense,” said the man. He wondered why he had not thought of these things on his own much earlier but was grateful that Dr. Brooks had now. The idea seemed to make sense to him – avoid those things which pushed his thoughts towards the lustful side and avoid actions which triggered the lust itself. It was so simple!
The rest of the session was spent figuring out ways in which to make the man’s new goals a reality and as he left, the man said a quick “thank you, good-bye” and headed towards his afternoon class.
A few weeks later the man entered his dorm room to Tony playing video games, a normal occurrence.
“How ya doing?” asked the man.
“Me? Fine,” said Tony, too engrossed in his futuristic, alien-killing, computer generated self to say much more.
Tony paused his game and looked at the man. “It’s going fine,” he said. “I’m talking with Dr. Henderson about avoiding people and situations that make me want to drink. So that’s what I’m doing. I’m doing my best to avoid parties or bars and I’m trying to make myself have to make as few difficult decisions as possible. That Dr. Henderson’s a smart woman. No wonder she has like three degrees framed in her office.”
“That sounds a lot like what I’m trying to do,” said the man. “Dr. Brooks and I are talking about avoiding things that trigger my lust. It’s hard, but it’s definitely paying off.”
"I agree, dude,” Tony replied. I have a good feeling about this. I’m not expecting to quit cold turkey, but I’m already making some progress. I think this might stick. I just hope I don’t have a big setback, you know?”
The two’s conversation soon turned to that of homework, football, and how Tony was going to beat the particular level he was playing. The rest of the semester followed suit, and as the end of the school year approached, both Tony and the man worked to keep improving. Eventually finals week came, and the man stumbled into his room, sleep deprived but elated that he had completed his last test. Tony was, as usual, sitting in his beanbag chair playing video games.
“How were finals?” the man asked out of the need to say something.
“Killed ‘em,” Tony quipped without taking his eyes off the screen. “I mean, I only had one, but I totally killed it.”
“How nice for you,” the man said sarcastically. “What are you doing tonight? Classes are done and this is the last night we have with friends before we all head out tomorrow.”
“Don’t remind me,” said Tony. “I’ve got a few options. I think the school’s putting on some party somewhere, so I might hit that up. Should be safe and it seems like a lot of people are going. What about you?”
The man thought for a second and said, “I’m not sure yet. Something will come up, though. I’m not too worried.”
“You’re right dude,” replied Tony. “Something always comes up.”
The two went their separate ways that evening – Tony to the school party at a local spot and the man out to a movie with some friends just a few blocks further down the road. After the movie finished, the man felt the need to clear his mind, especially after watching a scantily-clad lead actress for two hours, and opted to walk home.
“I’ll see you guys around,” shouted the man as he began to walk away from his friends. “Make sure we can all say bye tomorrow before I leave!”
The man walked down the sidewalk, back towards Kuyper College, and as he approached the party Tony was at he began to look to see if he could find his friend amongst the crowd. As he got closer, the man noticed something – alcohol, and plenty of it. It was set up at a table and was being handed out like water, non-stop to the line of students behind it. People everywhere, students, professors, and faculty alike were walking around with red cups full of beer and the man knew not what else. Out front there was a disturbance as two drunken seniors began heckling a sophomore boy and his girlfriend. And as he got closer the man noticed Tony, stumbling around, holding a red cup.