“Being addicted doesn’t freak me out like it used to because now I understand its source.”
Monthly Archives: March 2014
”This is, in brief, how the body becomes addicted to substances. The substance alters a balance of natural body chemicals; the body adjusts to this alteration by trying to reestablish the proper balance, in so doing, the body becomes dependent upon the external supply of the substance.”
I kicked several significant addictions over the course of the last decade including mood altering chemicals, pornography, and material security. They’re gone and done, but not my addictions to food and productivity. That’s troubling, but being addicted doesn’t freak me out like it used to because now I understand its source.
God crafted us to live deeply hooked on the work of the Spirit – obsessively and compulsively wrapped up in, constantly craving, and totally dependent on her, lost in the crazy and tumultuous life of that addiction. Unfortunately, we fight it tooth and nail because of our broken expectations of what a well lived life is supposed to entail – control, accomplishment, and well-earned rest.
Picture the disciples response as the storm hits their small ship and Jesus continues to sleep blissfully unaware in the stern (Mark 4:35-41). They freak out, and just like them we want to shake Jesus awake to rescue us. When we try, we don’t always like the answer. Instead of calming the storm, God invites us to stay in process with the Spirit so she can shape us in the middle the tension and strain. Often, lust like the disciples, we bail out. We seek relief, and find addiction, somewhere else.
“Man, I need a break from all of this madness! Somebody getting me single malt and a vacation.” Or for some of us “I can’t stand the mundanity! Please God to give me the next big challenge so I can get totally lost in chasing it.”
The answer is clear, but difficult to translate from head to heart. Giving up control, staying in tension, and faith provide peace and joy. That is what we crave. The healthy path to minimizing worldly addiction is the profoundly paradoxical blessing of finding rest on the run.
 May, Gerald G.. Addiction and grace. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1988, p 24.a