Addicted to... God?
“Give ear to my words, O Lord;
consider my meditation.
Hearken to my cry for help, my King and my God,
for I make my prayer to you.
In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice;
early in the morning I make my appeal and watch for you.”
(Psalm 5:1-3, The Book of Common Prayer)
I heard a report on Colorado Public Radio today that 60,000 will die from opioid overdoses in the U.S. this year, and the prediction is that 500,000 will die over the next decade. My reaction is one of alarm and deep sadness. Recently, Julia and I traveled through Denver’s airport as we prepared to fly to Seattle. We noticed people sitting at airport bars drinking alcohol at 10:00 in the morning. This is equally depressing to me.
I have never been addicted to drugs or alcohol, and I am not a trained addiction counselor, so I am probably the last person who should be commenting on all of this. Read on with that in mind, please.
I am left to wonder: Is life in the U.S. so bad - or so boring or unfulfilling - that 50,000+ will risk killing themselves this year for a high?
Though not a chemical addiction, we see people getting “lost” in their cell phones, “checking out” with TV or the internet, or not being able to get started in the morning without turning on the news. We seem to have an unlimited capacity, as human beings, for escaping reality.
Meanwhile, our Parish Administrator, Kristy Weprin, told me that on Monday, July 3, a toad sat on the windowsill outside of the church office for about four hours. By the end of her shift, it had moved about six feet away.
Maybe we can take a lesson from this toad.
Do you think we could spend the first 15-30 minutes of our day sitting in silence, with an intention of connecting with God?
Do we even believe it is possible to get “high” by connecting with God? (If we don’t, maybe we should!) More than that, what would happen if we were all seeking guidance from God - each and every day - for how we might serve? What if we prayed each morning for God to put people in front of us.... people to love?
Perhaps we all need to risk getting “addicted” to God, in such a way that we could not stand to go one day without God... in such a way that if we hadn’t sat in God’s presence in the morning, we would be noticeably agitated, and if people came up to us later in the day and asked, “What’s wrong?”, we would say, “I’ve got to have a message from the Spirit... I need to feel Jesus with me right now. I can’t go on without the Lord.”
I believe there is WAY more fulfillment - traveling down this path with God. What do you think?
In the meantime, let’s all pray this prayer today:
O blessed Lord, you ministered to all who came to you: Look with compassion upon all who through addiction have lost their health and freedom. Restore to them the assurance of your unfailing mercy; remove from them the fears that beset them; strengthen them in the work of their recovery; and to those who care for them, give patient understanding and persevering love. Amen.
(“For the Victims of Addiction” - The Book of Common Prayer, p. 831)