At Rock Bottom
Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you. Hosea 10:12
In addiction, we often talk about those who are not at rock bottom yet. Though they may have lost jobs and families, they just aren’t ready to get help. What will it take? Everyone has a different point at which they are willing to turn around, but the tendency for most of us, when we first find ourselves in a hole, is to keep digging for a while.
Long before we commit to radical change, we know we should do so. Once we start to see that our errant life choices are leading to some discomfort, we should abandon those choices. Most of us though, ignore that voice of wisdom for a while at least. Turning around is hard work. It’s just easier to continue the same eating habits, the same drug use, and the same selfish behaviors. Change is hard.
God, in today’s passage, insisted to his wandering people that it was time to turn around. In the story, Israel abandoned God to worship foreign idols and suffered miserable consequences. God promised that if they stopped sowing the seeds of their own destruction and started sowing the seeds of righteousness, they would again know his blessing.
Why did they not listen? Repentance, for the Israelites, would have been violent. They would have had to radically change their way of life, destroying altars to foreign idols and severing relationships with those around them. Returning to God would have been a painful mountain over which they were not willing to climb. So, they kept digging their hole, suffering the consequences.
We’re no different, refusing to repent for the same reasons. Like the Israelites, we often prefer our self-inflicted misery to the work of repentance. God though, is always calling. Stop. Turn around. Follow Me. If we’ll listen to his voice, we’ll find that we do not have to live in our misery. We don’t have to stay at the bottom. We can know life, joy, and peace, if we will do what it takes to put down the shovel, repent, and follow God.