Wednesday, February 24, 2010

attach means "nailed to"

As we consider Christ's walk to the cross this Lent, and our walk with Him, here is a short passage I wrote for a devotion a few years' back. I have some "attachment/addiction" areas in my life. After you read this passage, consider what sidetracks your own desire for Christ....

Gerald May, who wrote a book called Addiction and Grace defines addiction as “any compulsive, habitual behavior that limits the freedom of our truest, deepest desire.” May speaks of our deepest desire being to continually know God’s love and return that love. Our greatest desire is that loving, abiding relationship with God. But that desire often gets off track, misguided, and it gets attached to other things…things that fill up the spaces within us where love and grace could otherwise flow. “And we begin to worship, attend to, give our time and energy to these things instead of love. Addiction sidetracks and eclipses the energy of our deepest, truest desire for love and goodness. These attachments keep our love for God and neighbor incomplete. They create other gods for us. Because of our addictions, we will always be storing up treasures somewhere other than heaven, and these treasures will kidnap our hearts and souls and strength.” I think about in this way. I know that there’s a spectrum from habit, habit gone bad, to full blown addiction with its claws in, but I kind of clump that spectrum with the word attachment. The word attach comes from a French word that means “nailed to”. I think “Jesus was nailed to the cross for the things that I’ve nailed my desire to that are not him. And I think of the attachments in my life kind of as nails being driven in at various degrees..all the way to addiction where the nail is really embedded.

For me, I know attachments are likely present if I’m feeling somewhat complacent in my relationship with God and I can’t seem to grow like I deeply desire to and I’m somewhat stuck in borderland…there are probably some attachments that are holding me back. Attachments/addictions are most likely present when we use the words “next month, or next year, on Monday, I’ll…they’re often found if we just look at our New Year’s resolution list and see what continually gets passed on to the next list each year without progress. They’re often present when we echo Paul in Romans 7- “I do not understand what I do, for what I want to do I do not do, and what I hate I do.” Addiction is often present in the things we find our minds preoccupied and obsessed with. Or in things we’d find really difficult to fast from. Or in things we escape to regularly or in things that manifest our lust, greed, envy. And for me I know attachments/addictions are generally lurking when I yak, yak, yak about and read, read, read about things I really know I have enough knowledge about but can’t seem to actually live out and do, so I’ll just try to read the next book to see if I find the magic solution. Attachments/Addictions come in all varieties…we often think of gambling, sex, food, alcohol and drugs, but we can be attached and addicted to everything from money to clothes to sports to house decorating to things that are more difficult to measure like approval, performance, control, work, status. They are anything that limit our freedom to grow in full devotion to Christ because our desires are nailed to them instead. We all have addictions, though addictions may stay outside of our awareness for a long time because that is their nature…to confuse, to cause us to rationalize, justify, and deny. They often work with our tricky false selves to keep us from our true selves. Sweet, amazing Grace is the only hope and power that can deal with our attachments and addictions.

1 comment:

  1. Oh Laura thank-you for such a great reminder!! Even as hard as it is to hear... Sometimes I would just like to think God just fixes us and makes us 'perfect' and by doing that we can fool ourselves right back to where we started. And then wonder what happened that got us so far away from Him.

    I Love you so much!!
    Your sister in Christ Jesus,