Sometimes it’s good to go back to the beginning. We need those breaths in our life where we can simply relax and recollect. How did we get here, what decisions have we made – both good and bad – to become the person we are today? Are there opportunities to go back and amend a wrong or to alter our present course? How are our focus and our walk? Sometimes it helps to go back even further, to the very beginning, when life began. As followers of Christ and believers in God, our struggles all began with a simple, but not so innocent, bite of an apple. I know I have often thought that given the opportunity, I would have chosen to obey God and stayed pure. Hindsight is indeed 20/20, and reality often differs from our passions and ideals.
Every day I fall victim to my own apples. I am shown the path of holiness, and it is quite clear. The way is well lighted and the road straight and solidly paved. It’s sad to consider how the path is not well-worn, but rather shows little signs of traffic. It seems so simple. We simply need to wake up each day ready to love others, ready to do all that Christ commands us to do. We can do anything we want as long as it does not go against the character and principles of God. But, just like Eden, that simply isn’t good enough; we want more. More is a funny word, as by definition we will never achieve it. Life becomes an endless struggle to clutch ever more: more pleasure, more possessions, more social standing. It never ends, and thus, I become aware that I would have eaten the apple as well.
I don’t want to admit that I fail. I don’t like failing at anything, and I’m certain you feel the same. If we’re honest with ourselves though, we fail far more times than we succeed every day. We all have our apples that we chew on throughout the day. For some it’s greed, others a sharp tongue and still others an addiction of some sort. We can’t seem to stop ourselves. Sin is an addiction in and of itself. We are all addicted to something, and we need to eradicate it from our lives.
What are your apples, your addictions? May I suggest you jump on the sobriety wagon? Just like those attempting to kick the more publicized addictions, we need to quit our sinful behavior at once, not try and gradually improve. Monitor your progress; keep track of how many days you’ve “been sober”. Write down the areas of your life you know are not pleasing to Christ. Pray that He will help you turn from these behaviors and thought patterns. Then consciously reject those same behaviors one day at a time. Can you make it one week sober? Two weeks? A month? Tackle one behavior at a time. Once you’ve been “six weeks sober”, you can add a new behavior and start your sobriety pledge for that area of your life as well. The longer you stay sober, the harder it will be to go back to that behavior. Who wants to go back to day one after reaching day 50? Although it’s difficult, stay close to God and pray throughout your journey. He will help you stand up under the pressure. The next time someone hands you an apple of sin, smile and hand it back. Tell them you don’t eat those any longer.