Drunk Sobriety

Drunk Sobriety

For my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water. Jeremiah 2:13

It is not uncommon to meet a suffering patient, who wants to feel better, while hanging on to that which is making him sick. The smoking asthmatic needs to quit smoking, but often, he just wants a pill. He desires to breath normally, while clinging to that which is stealing his breath. As a physician, I want to scream, That’s not a thing! You can’t have both!

I can’t pick on smokers too much though. I’ve done this. I eat junk food and then try to exercise my way to fitness, wondering why I’m frustrated. In my drug addiction, I tried to find God, while refusing to get sober. I wanted drunk sobriety, but that’s not a thing. It’s destructive nonsense.

God, in today’s passage, explained that our destructive behavior consists of two errors. First, we abandon the living water that is God. Second, we turn to our own appetite, and though it can never quench our thirst, we seek satisfaction in self.

Just as the path to destruction is two steps, the path back to life is two steps. First, we must turn from our own path and second, we must follow God’s.

We often try though, like the asthmatic smoker, to find life, while clinging to death. We want God, but we don’t want to give up that which keeps us from him. I’m not saying that we must become perfect to know God. I’m saying that we cannot drink the living water while we’re drunk with alcohol. We cannot pursue God and self at the exact same time. If we want God, we must begin to abandon the destructive pursuits that keep us from him.

This is not instantaneous, and it will not be complete in this life. Abandoning ourselves to find God is spiritual growth and like any growth, it takes time. We may never fully arrive, but life springs from the journey, which we must begin now. Trying to find God’s life without abandoning our death, is not a thing. It is only in daily turning from ourselves to pursue him that we drink the living water.


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