Tuesday, 16 November 2010

The supreme sacrifice

The mental obsession. The physical craving that flows from the remotest entertainment of the mental obsession, which triggers its own chemical rush, an excited anticipation so thrilling that the lights of real life temporarily dim.

Here's a good prayer: ask God to show you the truth behind the mental obsession.

I get a vision of a whirlpool, a maelstrom sucking in everything in the known universe until there is nothing left except the breathless vortex. The delusion is that I can drift near enough to the whirlpool to feel the excitement of the tug at my ankles but that, this time, as every other time so far, I will summon the strength or be given the grace to swim away once the terror threatens to overwhelm me, once the current threatens to become too strong.

Another image: peering over the edge of the cliff at the prize somewhere below, not realising that I could lose my footing at any minute.

There is a point at which any addict will give up, and make the supreme sacrifice rather than continue to fight (xxx:1, 'Alcoholics Anonymous'). Any relapse, any yielding could bring about that moment of surrender to the addiction and the willing sacrifice of everything worthwhile in life, and I will not even know I have surrendered to the path to oblivion till it is way too late. If I do not surrender totally and utterly to God, I will discover myself inadvertently surrendered to the addiction, and I will be baffled as I do not understand why, this time, I am unable to stop.

The moment, itself, may be innocuous. The relapse may, to one's relief, be 'mild'. But any relapse can dissolve the glue that holds my mind together, and the sometimes slow disintegration that will then ensue could be inexorable.

"This tragic situation has already arrived in practically every case long before it is suspected." (24:0)

"Then, gathering all his forces, he attempted to stop altogether and found he could not. Every means of solving his problem . . . was at his disposal. Every attempt failed." (32:2)

How could I know which relapse would be the one that places me beyond any aid?

I am absolutely sure of very little. But I am totally sure of this: the absolute, permanent availability of a God who actually cares, personally, about me.

"But there is One who has all power—that One is God. May you find Him now!" (59:0)

"Your Heavenly Father will never let you down!" (181:7)

I have to choose God today, whilst I can, because I cannot be sure that I will have the hope or courage to do so tomorrow.

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