Living for the Weekend
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9
Insomnia was one of the excuses I used to justify my opioid abuse. I often worked overnights in the ER and when I switched back to days, I struggled to sleep at night. Pills were an effective way to regulate my sleep schedule and a convenient reason to use. I need to sleep. The pills help. They’re actually a good thing. I’d be stupid not to use them.
Paradoxically though, the more I used, the more exhausted I was. There was the physical effect that the addiction had on my body, but there was also a profound mental and emotional toll. In my drug use, I lived in continual conflict, feeling guilty, hiding my drug use, and constantly worrying that others would find out about it. This led to tremendous internal turmoil, which left me exhausted. I had little energy for anything else as the drug consumed my life.
I started out, seeking rest in a pill, but I found only misery, chaos, and exhaustion. Now, in recovery, I sleep like a baby and I wake up rested. I get up early every day to write my blog, exercise, and then go to work in addiction medicine. I find that I’m now energized by doing the things I’m supposed to be doing. If you looked at my activity level back then, compared to now, you’d think I’d be wiped out now, but it’s quite the opposite. Apparently, I recharge by living right in faith and recovery.
This isn’t surprising according to today’s passage. In it, Paul reiterated the principle that he’d taught so many times before. If we pursue our flesh nature, we’ll find easy, immediate gratification, but we’ll pay for it later. If however, we choose to do good, it will require more effort on the front end, but after, we’ll reap a reward instead of misery.
A lot of us find ourselves here. We long for the weekend when we can live our way, doing whatever we want. Then, after indulging in our now appetite, we find we’re not satisfied. Instead, we’re wiped out. The only solution is to slog through the week so we can seek more immediate gratification next weekend. We never get there though. We’re never fulfilled. Rather, we’re exhausted because we weren’t made to find life in our appetite. We were made to find life, joy, and peace in loving God and loving those around us. If we find we’re exhausted, we should stop trying to find energy in feeding ourselves and find it in doing good and serving others.