(This is part one of two about- Mental Health- Addiction – Faith.
Part two is for believers on how to execute on Gods’ promises and I really hope you are reading along. Stay tuned!)
Wow. Just the title I gave this post puts a lot of pressure on me-at first. I want to give an accurate picture of how being a Christian impacts the life of those suffering from the pain of depression or addiction. Just recently I was reminded a few times by the suicides of several lead singers of famous bands, just how hard those issues can be on a family. What a great toll they can take on a person. To drive them to the point of feeling that even your own flesh and blood (you children) does not prevent you from an early exit from this world..
After reading so very much about the hurt of these men, that I know oh so well, I began to think of how I I am different in any way than they . Why did I make it out alive and even safe and sane? How come I went through the same things they did and many times thought the thoughts they recently had, but am still here today? Does it have anything to do with my faith? Does it mean these guys were not Christians? The answers are yes and no. Yes, my faith has been and will always be the only clearly game changer for me in all this. No, it does not mean that the guys who committed suicide were automatically unbelievers. That is an issue between them and God.
Yesterday I was watching a you tube video on some channel about live on the sea and how dangerous it is out there for ship captains, and other boaters who risk their lives each day to battle the sea. I was on board with a mate on some large vessel that was big enough to put a few football fields in and still have room for a golf course, it looked like. That was at the dock.
Things can look like they are going ok.
Man oh man was it a different story when the viewers were taken on board for the ride through the wild ocean it headed out into, I was literally scared for the crew until I realized that the show was about survivors not those who perished.
The one thing that kept crossing my mind as we got to watch the crew scramble around was who is in charge? Oh, that’s right, the Captain is calling the shots. It is a good thing too, because if it were me in that kind of situation I might be sitting on the highest point of that ship with three life vests on with my eyes closed. That is some scary stuff. However once I reminded myself that somewhere on board who had not only trained for this, but must like it to some extent to choose it as a career.
The Captain. He has it all under control. As long as they get word that the Captain is aware of the situation, including all the scary details and he still says we will make it, the crew is in absolute servant and submission mode. The very voice of the commander makes every heartbeat speed up in anticipation of an updat. Are we OK? Does he say we will survive?
As long as that Captain is within earshot, they are not phased by what their circumstances are telling them. The 50 foot seas, black skies and loss of some of our cargo to the mouth of a sea that could house the Empire State Building are not a concern as long as our leader says it is not.
That is what is known as Faith. Its is believing in an outcome based on what you are told not by what you see. In order to have Faith you first have to decide who will be your captain for you ride. What is your ride by the way? Cancer? Addiction? Depression? PTSD? Maybe it is something else. No matter what it is you need to locate a Captain, unless you prefer uncertainty and isolation with no support during one of the roughest times of your life.
I was once at an AA/NA meeting ( doing research for a friend) and something just did not feel right with what I was hearing when we got to that depressing part about being ” powerless over our addiction and needing a higher power ” in order to make any changes. I guess what really bothered me was when they kept saying we can ” choose” our higher power to help us through this.
Choose what you want to be my higher power? UMM,Okay, how about my daughter’s Big Wheel? Maybe my lazy goldfish Norman? Anything goes with AA/ NA and their ” power” source. Let me tell you about how good that works. Look at your foot right now and say to it 3x firmly ” Foot, you ARE a power outlet”. After you are done try plugging your toaster into your big toe. That’s about how effective choosing your own ” higher power” is and its also the reason AA/NA brag a 10-15% success rate for addicts. There is no real power working in you, and Dr Wayne Dyer and mind over matter does not apply to the diseases of mental health and addiction.
Switching to mental health and psychiatry for a moment, you are told who your power is in this deal. You do and believe about yourself what you are told to do and believe by the god of disorders, the psychiatrist. The problem with this power source is that it only has the ability to make you sick.
So with addiction and mental health ( for this post ) we need also to determine who our Captain will be. If we have an inadequate captain, we are like the crew of the crazy ship out to sea with no guidance. If we have an inadequate Captain in the areas of addiction and mental health, like a doctor, then you are stuck with a captain who has the primary job of pronouncing you sick not well. I think most would agree that a higher power needs to have more character and back story than a lawn chair or my daughter’s Big Wheel. Perhaps we would all even agree that a ” spiritual ” higher power is best.
There are 1500 religions, cults, and other groups of people wanting more followers. Perhaps one of them? Or maybe go with the most popular like the buddha or Gandhi. Maybe Thor? We still have a major problem. They are all dead. You really need a living ” spiritual higher power.” Heck God even! There is one who actually performed miracles then and now, did proclaim himself to be to
“The way the truth and the life, and no man shall come to the Father except by me”– Jesus Christ John 14:6
Actually if we are honest, not only is Jesus Christ the only one to do the miracles of God, claim to be one with God, but He is also the only one to claim the ability to be ” Captain ” of our life. He is the only one out of thousands of false religions that is not asking us to do anything to be forgiven and enjoy eternal life. No sacrifice needed, as He personally handled that at the cross at Calvary. Now I realize you may be reading this and maybe I just started to lose you because you are a died hard evolutionist.. you have need for God. I will just challenge you today ( I wont even make any fishman jokes ) I challenge you to call on the name of the Lord in your time of need right now. I mean really call out to Jesus and ask Him to come and live in you if He is real. If he does not show, keep chipping away at rocks looking for 7 billion year old fishman prints.
But if you refuse, you must admit you are a bit frightened by what you think may occur.
This is part one of two about Mental Health- Addiction – Faith.
Part two is for believers on how to execute on Gods’ promises and I really hope you are reading along. Stay tuned!