Cinco de Mayo and the Towsontown Festival

Saturday was Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for “fifth of May”), a Mexican heritage celebration observed in the United States.  Interestingly, it is not widely celebrated in Mexico, nor is it Mexico’s Independence Day (which is September 16).  Instead, Cinco de Mayo (May 5) commemorates the May 5, 1862 Mexican army’s unlikely victory over a much larger French force at the Battle of Puebla, Mexico. 

I admit I really didn’t know much about this.  As far as I could tell, Cinco de Mayo was just a Spanish version of St. Patrick’s Day in America – another opportunity to party and drink publically!

This past weekend was also the 45th Annual Towsontown Spring Festival, celebrated in “Downtown Towson.”  Dave, a graduate of Helping Up Mission who lives in our graduate transitional housing on campus, went to the Towsontown Festival on Saturday.  A Baltimore guy, he went to shop and came back with a number of items he was pleased to find. 

But Dave forgot all about Cinco de Mayo until he arrived at the Festival.  An alcoholic for many years, Dave remembered how he used to go to Towson to drink and party on Cinco de Mayo.  But this weekend, Dave was pretty pleased that he hadn’t even thought about it this year – and he was actually there, but had no desire to drink.    

The choice to drink (or do drugs) is a daily decision.  The AA Big Book put it this way, “What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition” (Alcoholics Anonymous 4th edition 2001; p.85).  Dave has developed his own spiritual connection with God which empowers his daily reprieve.  Maintenance of that same spiritual condition will also empower any of us over whatever our issues are, too. 

One issue at a time,
Pastor Gary Byers
Spiritual Life Director