Hey guy….yeah, you….the one having the affair.
Why ya doin’ that?
You know it’s not right. You know it’s destroying your family. Your boys. You feel all churned up and conflicted about it on the inside, and yet…hi ho, hi ho (pun intended), off to her house you go.
And you? The addict.
Why ya doin’ THAT?
You hate that drug. You love it, but you hate it, because it’s ruining your life. Your marriage. Your family. You’ve already decided it’s not what’s best for you, and yet….it’s not THAT big of a deal to do it “every now and then” right?
Yoo-hoo! Hello there workaholic! Running yourself RAGGED…health suffering, sanity suffering, family suffering….all so you can get more and more and more. Get bigger and bigger and better and better.
Why are you guys DOING that??
I know why!
I know, because I’m doing the same thing.
No, I’m not having an affair, and I don’t struggle with addiction, but I’m doing the same thing you guys are, just in a different way.
I’m over here frantically slathering anti-aging cream on myself, dribbling potion onto my eyelashes to make them grow, and researching the pros and cons of breast augmentation, because my identity is too tightly wound up with my appearance.
I’m over here obsessively keeping track of how many “likes” my newest blog post got, and replaying in my head a conversation I just had with a friend, hoping I came across the way I intended to, because I place too much of my value in what other people think of me.
I’m over here wearing myself out trying to be the PERFECT wife and mom, because to me, the ultimate happiness would be found in having the PERFECT family.
Why are any of us doing any of these things? Some of the things are blatantly wrong, others aren’t, but all of them are done frantically…scratching and clawing….at a breakneck, soul-draining speed….all in a feeble attempt to…I don’t know. Fill ourselves up? Prove ourselves? Fix something that is broken? Provide purpose and meaning to our lives? Achieve a feeling of ultimate satisfaction?
But…it’s not working.
I have a friend who posted something on Facebook yesterday, that I thought was really good. She said:
“I hate the term ‘God-shaped hole’ [sidenote: I do too]….but it’s completely true. God has designed our hearts to chase after a relationship with Him. And HE ALONE will give us peace and joy. Not the fancy fill-in-the-blanks, or the travel, or experiences, or WHATEVER. It’s ALL broken….”
And to that, I would add “and it ALL ends”.
The affair? Eventually, it’s not an affair anymore. You either break up, or she becomes your new wife, and with that, the excitement of the forbidden ENDS.
The high? 30 minutes? A couple of hours? It ENDS. I found it fascinating in the article my sister wrote a few days ago, about her experience with heroin, that the high…the euphoric, blissful, better-than-anything-else-you’ve-ever-experienced feeling lasts for approximately TEN SECONDS. Ten seconds of bliss, and (what was) a ruined life to show for it.
The money, the glitz and glam, the status, the satisfaction of the amazing career that you give EVERYTHING you have to, EVERY day? It’s going to end, I already know it is, because if nothing else, YOU are going to “end”. You’re gonna die eventually, right? What’s going to happen to all your money and status then? Who knows? Who cares? You’ll be dead. It ENDS.
None of it was ever meant to complete us. Fill us. Bring us the ultimate satisfaction we so desperately desire.
Like my friend eloquently stated, I believe God DID create us with an innate yearning to know HIM. To depend on HIM. To find our purpose and meaning and value in HIM.
But man, do we ever fight it. I know I do. I’m just not sure why.
Anyway. It doesn’t mean we have to stop doing everything. Stop working. Stop doing things we enjoy. Hey, I may even get that breast augmentation (another blog post, for another time?).
But I think it’s crucial to get our SOUL right first.
And I think it’s crucial to ask ourselves a few questions:
- Why am I doing this thing?
Is there something inside my very soul that isn’t right, and I’m trying to fix it by doing this?
Am I trying to fill myself up with this? Maybe just kinda wedge God somewhere on the top, IF there’s room, once I’m filled up with all the other stuff?
Do I not trust that God alone is enough? Do I HAVE to have this thing to be ok?
Am I killing myself (physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually) in my quest to obtain this thing? Is it worth it? (Spoiler: no, it’s not).
Do I even WANT to do this, or have I just been conditioned to think I have to/am supposed to?
These are the things I’m stewing on, these days.
Go getcha SOUL right! The other stuff isn’t working.