Lunch time at work. I bundled up in my winter coat and braced myself for Chicago’s frigid air. Anything to rest my eyes from the computer’s glaring lights. 5-4-3-2-1…Ding! The elevator opened its doors, welcoming me in to where a young lady stood, waiting to get downstairs as well.
I had learned from an executive never to eat lunch alone. And so, in an attempt to make a new friend, I smiled and asked, “Out to lunch?” A slight pause and a sheepish response came back to me. “No…I’m out for a smoke.” And then, she couldn’t hide the guilt that robbed her initial cool. “I stopped smoking, but it’s busy season at work…so I started smoking again.”
It’s funny how the most trivial of questions can open up a can of worms. I smiled, noting the hopeless look on my new friend’s face. There was no judgement at all – I have my own frailties too. But then, I thought some more about it. Here was someone who probably had resolved that 2016 would be cigarette-free. It would be the dawn of a new woman – a healthier woman. But life happened, pressure hit…and she caved.
I can only imagine how powerless she feels every time she reaches for the very same thing she is trying to quit. The very thing she knows is slowly killing her. Such is the plight of an addict. But before you shed a pitiful eye on the smoker, I beg you to put the spotlight on yourself. Is it possible that you are an addict as well? Of sleep? Of food? Of entertainment? It’s no different.
I myself have battled with an addiction in the past; and even though it wasn’t cigarettes, it was still nothing to be proud. And like my friend, I had those moments of guilt and regret, especially when I knew I was about to cave in.
If you think about it, any addiction, whether it’s cigarettes, alcohol, Kim Kardashian, you name it, goes against the greater purpose God had for mankind. When the very first man walked the earth, God said to mankind, “be fruitful, fill the earth, subdue it,” in other words, put it under your power. It was a command so filled with hope and purpose. The very things that addictions battle to destroy.
So what did I do? When I realized that God cared to free me, like a true father would, I went to Him like a child. I prayed: God, please take this away from me. I’ve had this for too long and I don’t want it anymore.
I started with a prayer; then I coupled it with practical actions to destroy the addiction. And in times when I fell weak, it was like God would give me flashbacks to the moment when I asked him to deliver me. It was a process, but I am now years free. No matter what the addiction is, this can be your experience too.