Confession: I am addicted to texting and driving.
I know. It’s stupid. It’s dangerous. It puts me and others at risk. I want to stop. But’s it’s SO hard. I am trained, like a dog, to check my phone every minute, to read every message that pops up, and to immediately respond. Something about it feels urgent. Necessary. Important. Even though it’s usually not. Even though I’m driving. Even though I have kids in the car. Even though I’ve almost taken out bikers and runners and moms pushing babies in strollers.
It sounds idiotic. Completely irresponsible. And it is. (I am partly writing this to hold myself accountable. I am pledging today to lock up my phone in the center console of my mini-van and not to look at it until I get where I am going!).
Even though I know it is stupid, here is how I usually rationalize my actions in the moment:
- I just need to send this one quick text.
- It’s not that big of a deal.
- I’m going slow.
- I am a good driver. I can multi-task well.
- That won’t happen to me.
- I don’t do it that often.
- There are people out there that are doing it way more than I am.
- But most of the time, I don’t even realize that I am doing it!
I find it fascinating that:
It’s the same line of thinking for any addict. It starts small. It seems innocent. But it slowly begins to consume you. You become its slave. You are no longer in control. It controls you.
Oh, I know that feeling well. On a much deeper level than texting and driving. I used to be addicted to exercise, food and body image. How I looked, how many calories I consumed and how many calories I burned…all of those things controlled me. I was a slave. Everyday I got on the scale. Everyday was either a ‘good’ day or a ‘bad’ day. There was no in-between. I was my harshest critic. A good day meant I ate like a bird and ran several miles. A bad day was a day when I would binge on Taco C tortillas and queso at two in the morning.
And then, there were the really bad days. The shameful days. Things I am embarrassed to admit for even me, Miss Open Book, Share Everything with the World. Some evenings, after I had gone all day without eating and had run the long loop at Town Lake, I would wake up in the middle of the night because my stomach was fiercely growling with hunger. I would sneak into our girls’ dorm kitchen area and raid the refrigerator. Where people kept their leftovers. And this was a fancy girls’ dorm so there were some damn good leftovers. But y’all. I would steal people’s food and binge out on it! And I didn’t care! I was so ravenous, so enslaved, that I no longer cared about what was right or what people might think or whether this was perhaps a sign that things were unhealthy. Nope. I just acted on my enslaving need for food.
As all this Ashley Maddison stuff goes down, I think about people that joined that site (like Josh Duggar). I wonder what that process looked like for them. I bet it didn’t start with “I want to have an affair. I wonder if there is an online site where I can hook up with another person wanting to have an affair.” Nope. I am guessing it was much more subtle, much more gradual. That’s how Satan works. He’s sneaky like that, just whispering little things in our ears, trying to pull us one way that looks like all fun and highs and thrills, but is truly a path to destruction.
For me, the answer was Jesus.
He pulled me out of the depths of despair, the pit of darkness. He rescued me from darkness and slavery and frightful thoughts and demonic dreams that had haunted me for a long, long time. He tenderly lifted me up and bathed me in His wonderful light. But it was a process. And some of it was painful.
Nobody likes to be told they are sinful. But He was so gentle with me, so tender, by the way he gradually revealed to me the state of my heart, the arrogance and self-sufficiency that was so anti-God. And something felt right in acknowledging it, it was as if I always knew something inside me was ‘bad’ or ‘dirty’ but I didn’t know what to do about it. He did. All I had to do was ask. Once I did, He began to bathe me in the warm waters of forgiveness and love. He gave me the strength me to turn from my old ways and walk as a new creation, into His wonderful light, full of mercy and grace and hope. Away from the path of darkness and destruction that I was on. Freeing me from the yoke of slavery that had been bearing down upon my shoulders for so long.
I don’t know where you are today, friends. Do you have shameful secrets? Things that are secretly controlling on you but you may not want to admit it, even to yourself? If so, I urge you to considerJesus. To ask Him to be your Rescuer. To ask Him to be your Guide. He is so gentle, yet so strong. He has the keys to unlock your chains. He has the light and the love to fill that hole in your heart, to satisfy you in ways that this world was never meant to do. He will mend your brokenness just as He has mended mine. Come, come to the fountain and drink. Drink from the living waters of life. It is a well that never goes dry.