First off.... I think I was never meant to post the rest of my Philmont pictures. My computer died on me yesterday morning, and until we either replace it, or rig up Beau's so I can use it, I no longer have access to any of my photos. :( Bummer Deal. Until then I guess you get to hear all my deep thoughts, questions, ponderings and anything else I can blog about that requires no photos. Tough.
Soo.... my thoughts lately?
They all stem from this book.
I just finished reading it a couple of days ago. What a great, inspiring book. It's the story of a former LDS Seminary teacher and his journey through alcoholism and addiction. Everyone should really read this book. Just to understand alcoholism better, and to realize the power of the atonement and how real and powerful it is. His entire life was ruined, he lost everything. Yet it shows how much God loves us and will not give up on us, how he can change us, if we completely submit to his will. It's a story that made me have many thoughts.
1) A former friend
It made me remember a friend of mine. I grew up with him in High School and never associated or knew him. I just knew who he was, that he was mixed up in alcohol and drugs, that he was a smart kid, but making poor choices. All I knew after we graduated was that at one point he was doing time in the State Penitentiary. About 7 years later after having never really seeing him prior to my Junior Year, I went to church one day to see him sitting in my Sunday School class. We talked, he shared what had been happening in his life, and I became friends with him. He had served his time and was currently in a rehab program trying to get off of drugs, and alcohol. He was doing good. I'd help him go to his drug testing since he had no car, we'd take him to church activities, he'd come and hang out when he was struggling and wanted to go drink. I remember him sharing how hard it was to overcome his drug addictions. He still smoked all the time, he needed that to keep off the other. He mentioned how just normal words to us, would trigger responses in him that reminded him of shooting up and wanting more. He was trying so hard. He wanted so badly to turn his life around, and yet you saw how tragic and deep addictions ran. I ended up moving away, and lost contact with him. I wonder where he is. I wonder where he sits in his battle and his journey of becoming free. I wish I did more and wish I had kept in contact more. I hope the little bit of time I did get to spend with him, meant something and helped in some way.
It's make me ponder addictions. I may not be an alcoholic or a drug addict, but am I addicted to something? I love this part on the cover of the book...
"We live in an addicted society: alcohol, anger, caffeine, controlling behavior, criticism, food, gossip, pornography, pride, television, tobacco, videos, video games, work, street and prescription drugs-any destructive substance or behavior. To a lesser or greater extent, most of us have a drug or compulsive behavior of choice."
What is my addiction? I believe everyone has one. Something that we do without thinking, over and over again, to stuff away emotions, when we're stressed, when we want to celebrate. A compulsive behavior (of choice at one point) but now it's at the point that we don't necessarily choose it anymore it just happens. It has action over us.
It might be something simple like our time spent on the computer, message boards, it might be food /eating, it might be talking about other people, it might be video games or time wasters, it can be anything that becomes extreme. We might actually recognize that it's a problem, we might try to overcome it, we might try to change our ways, try a new program, something to help us get over this habit or addiction... we fail, we do good for a while, then we fail again... we keep falling back to it. Which has made me think long and hard about this thought that was given at Philmont.
3) "The world's programs are never effective, only Christ is."
That's not exactly how it was worded but close. (I can't find my notebook it was written in.) Basically the world has many self help programs, recovery programs, programs to help you change, programs to make you better, programs to help you overcome weaknesses and become strong.... etc. The problem is none of them will ever solve the problem, none of them are ever completely efficient or effective. The only answer to completely changing ourselves, overcoming weakness, habits or addictions is through Christ and only through him. He is the only way.
I saw that in this book. I'm recognizing it more and more in my own life. I've admitted to myself that I have an addiction - food. I find myself eating to stuff emotions, eating more than I should with out realizing eating when I'm stress, bored, or when something is bothering me. I realize that I've tried many of the "world's ways and philosophies" on how to change this habit. They are good, reliable, healthy ways of doing it too.... but they have still not been effective. I'm starting to realize more and more, that I can not overcome this problem on my own. I can not control it. It seems to control me. I'm realizing I need Christ's help more and more than I even know. I'm still trying to figure out how to do that. How to truly let him change me and help me. This book gave me some insight. It made me search myself.
It's been interesting too how as I've studied the scriptures this last week that I kept coming to a reference that mentioned "Shake off the chains with which ye are bound." Satan has the world bound in chains, how he desires to have us in chains so that we can not move, do, or act. I've wondered what these chains are or could be. Possibly addictions, habits, ignorance, sin, etc. I've read and pondered when the scriptures talks of Satan slowly wrapping you with a flaxen cord. A very small cord, which can easily be broken, but because of it's smallness we don't notice or recognize it for what it is, and then he slowly wraps more and more of it, and before know we it are bound. We can not get out, we are unable to move and act. He has us wrapped in chains. The author of this book really stressed and showed through his life, how it was the little tiny things that didn't seem to matter, that eventually opened up the way for bigger sins, and eventually destruction and a mighty fall.
Have I let him wrap me in a small flaxen cord at all? Am I letting him put the tiny little wedge in, which later can be hit with bigger things and split the tree in half.
I love books like this that make me think, that make me realize things within my own life that are problems, and ways to possible overcome them. I love the hope I felt though after reading it though that it is possible. With Christ all things are possible. "Nothing is impossible with God." I need to truly learn how to turn my life, my weaknesses and addictions over to him.
As I've been thinking about this whole thing of addictions and actually admiting I might have one, I ran across our church's Addiction Recovery Program. It uses the 12 steps of alcoholic's anonymous, but is more faith centered. I thought it had some good stuff, good questions and things to ask myself and think about. Good steps that I myself could study, and go through to help me learn how to turn this addiction over to him.