Getting and staying high isn’t a part time job or a hobby for me. In active addiction, it literally consumed every waking moment of my life, I’m not exaggerating. It’s really insane to look back on now but then, it’s all I knew. If I had drugs, I was using them, if I didn’t have drugs I was on the hunt to get more, whatever it took. One of my 12 step fellowships sums it up best like this we were “getting and finding ways and means to get more.” It is without a doubt all consuming. I sure did spend a lot of time feeding my habit. I’ve always been this way since I can remember. For me it was first baseball cards, then girls, then basketball, then music and on and on but much later on it was drugs.
I’ve been reflecting on just how insidious the whole lifestyle is. One thing I remember for sure is when I was using, if I had any drugs, they were never far away. I kept them as close as I could at all times, it made me feel safe and secure just to know I had some more of whatever it was I was using. This is what I referred to as my “stash.” My “stash” refers to any additional drugs that I wasn’t currently consuming, my back up if you will. I fully relied on the next hit, line pill or drink to give me life in that moment.
My “stash” included all drugs and any paraphernalia that I might have needed to use to get the job done, and it was a full time job. These included but weren’t limited to baggies, pipes, needles, papers, pushers, straws, etc. I’m sorry if this triggers anyone but I’m making a point so just bare with me. Even just typing those things raises my heart rate 20 bpm. I’m so grateful that’s not where I am today, today I have freedom from active addiction and life is beautiful and not nearly as exhausting!
The term “stash” got me to thinking. Now that I’m not using drugs or alcohol, what is my “stash”? What I mean is, what do I draw from to make me feel safe and secure? For some people it’s a padded bank account, for others it’s that extra marital relationship on the side. I’ve traded my “stash” several times over the years for different things but here’s what I’ve been pondering.
I said “yes” to Jesus about 17 years ago. I was in so much pain when I did that I was willing to do anything. As I reflected on this decision to follow Jesus this verse from the Book of Psalms came up in my mind. It says “I’ve hidden Your word in your heart so that I might not sin against you” The Psalmist is saying to God. He’s saying I want to be consumed with you so that I’m not ever apart from you. It sounds to me like he is saying that he wants God to be his “stash” if you will, his safety and security, his all, his everything, the thing that he draws from. In making His word our “stash” we set ourselves up for a richer existence, at least that’s what I’m coming to see.
So, what does that verse even mean? Am I supposed to sit down and just memorize lots of Bible verses and quote them like some kind of robot? I hope not, because I’m not the type of person who is gonna be able to sit down, absorb them and memorize them,(or beat someone over the head with them.) I don’t really think that’s what “hiding the word in my heart” means. I could be wrong, I do think that it could certainly be a part of it but that’s not the whole of it. I think hiding the word in my heart is much more about being consumed by God, to be infatuated and utterly convinced that His way is better than anything I could ever come up with.
When I say be consumed, I don’t mean get religious. What I’m trying to say, is that the same energy I used to get high, if it were used to seek God would produce amazing results in my life and the lives of those around me. Shoot, even a third of that energy would be life changing! So, how do I become someone who is consumed by God? I’m not sure I have the answers but here’s what I’ve been trying to do.
Before I shared you that I spent most, if not all of my time feeding my habit. It was a lifestyle, so instead of feeding my habit I’ve made a life changing shift. Now, I try to feed my spirit. I do this any number of ways and not that I am doing everything correctly but as we say in one of my 12 step groups I’m “willing to grow along spiritual lines.” If I actually follow through and do these things to feed my spirit I see tangible, internal as well as external results.
For example, I listen to music that moves me toward God(sometimes this is Jimi Hendrix, sometimes Chris Tomlin etc), I read books that talk about him, mostly books of personal testimonies of life transformation but sometimes I feel God speaking through someone like Russel Brand or a fictional piece of work. Other times I go to 12 step meetings, I talk to my sponsor, I go to the gym, maybe do some meditation or journaling. I try to get connected to something outside of myself and my insane thought life. It’s not the same for everyone, these are just some of the things I’ve found that work for me. I try to make my relationship with God my “stash.”
On good days, He’s the source that I now try to draw from. Instead of having to change the way I feel with substances or whatever, I now ask God to help me wade through these feelings and see how I can grow from them. I try to discern what I’m supposed to be learning in the process. When I draw this wisdom from The Word I am not as quick to resort to the same behaviors I used to, but this has certainly been a process and I’m not saying it doesn’t happen from time to time but I’m seeing it less and less, IF I put in the work and effort to pull from my new “stash.”
The word says that we will be transformed by the renewing of our mind. In the same way that drugs used to consume my every waking thought I am now trying to be connected to God. The word also says that Jesus came so that we may have a full life, my life is definitely more full now, real strange sometimes but definitely richer and more full. Even just typing this I can see the internal shift, just the fact that the verses are coming to my mind are proof to me that I’m being transformed(no I haven’t been brainwashed), I’m not the same, Thank God.
Also, the fact that in this very moment I am writing a blog about this topic versus going to score dope is all the proof that I need that it truly works, I’m not looking for applause just stating a fact. If you know me, you know that is a miracle for real, and I know many who’ve experienced the same thing. It works, don’t believe me? Try it!! I know for sure what it means to be consumed by drugs and alcohol and I’m learning what it is to be consumed with God. Just for Today at least I’ve traded my “stash” for something much richer and life giving! What is your “stash”?