Monday, July 7, 2008

12 step program

I was talking to one of my co-workers about his cousin who is addicted to heroin and cocaine. This co-worker himself is a recovering alcoholic (several years sober). I commented in disbelief when I heard this cousin's story that, "I don't know how to even get in that condition."

A little back story here for clarity: This cousin was just arrested for possession of cocaine in Mexico, and has been in trouble with the law time and again on both sides of the border. He's also been legeally dead more than a few times, once having his abdomen ran over by an 18-wheeler without serious injury, yet he still persists in this lifestyle.

When you can go through so much and yet still stick with it, it doesn't make any sense to me.

My co-worker told me, through is own experience none-the-less, that when you are an addict you don't wonder how you got there, you simply don't know how you can't be there. You don't know how life could be without the drugs and/or alcohol. It's scary to think of life without it because it is what you know life to be.

Over the past couple weeks I have been pondering the concept of discipleship as Christ expressed is the actual realization of the created order of life, and the life we live as fallen humans is a distorted way of life. I first began thinking of this concept thanks to a post on Halden's blog Inhabitatio Dei.

If Christ Jesus tells his disciples that his way is good, his burden is light, it seems from our perspective that he was either crazy or a fool because it's so hard for us. Perhaps it's because we're trying so desperately to have it both ways, to live our sinful lives and serve the Lord.

When I was told this revelation about addiction from my co-worker, it clicked to me. We're addicted to this world, this sin, this corrupt flesh. If we could rid ourselves of this body we could finally live in the simple way of Christ. We can live according to the created order of the universe.

But we cannot do this, we must rely on God, in his grace, to rid us of our flesh. This is the same as the 12 step program addicts go through, they need an outside source of power to help them through the process (usually God, but often a nameless "higher power").

If only we could develop a 12 step program for the Church so we might break this addiction to the world. I will contemplate this still, and maybe I can steal a 12 step program and change it for this purpose.

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