Choosing the Life I Want
Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb. Revelation 19:9
As I wrote yesterday, I recently took a trip with my parents, wife, and children to my favorite childhood vacation destination. It’s a trip I’ve been wanting to make for the last year, and so I’ve been planning. I had to get everyone on board with the schedule, make reservations for the cabin, and get time off work. As the date approached, I had to pack, get the oil changed in the car, and coordinate with everyone. It would have been absurd if I wanted to take this trip, but then failed to do any of the work it took to get there. If I’d have refused to plan, make reservations, or get time off work, it never would have happened. It would have remained a hope and a dream, but it would have never become a reality.
It sounds ridiculous, yet that’s how I’ve lived at times. If you’d have asked me 24 years ago, when I got married, What do you want the next 20 years of your life to look like? I’d have said I wanted to be a good Christian, husband, father, and physician. I’ve always believed in God and I’ve always believed that my faith should shape my life. I just always assumed that because I believed a thing to be true, that my behavior would naturally follow. What came naturally though, was that I followed myself. I didn’t daily make a conscious effort to abandon my way to follow God’s and so I followed my own appetites, leading to the disaster of my addiction. I often say, my greatest life problem isn’t drugs. That’s just a symptom. My greatest life problem is doing whatever Scott wants.
So, recovery now means living life much more purposefully. If I want to take a specific trip next year, I must plan for it, making decisions and doing those things that lead up to that trip. Likewise, if I want to know the peace, joy, and meaning that come from a life of faith and recovery, then I must purposefully change my behavior, daily pursuing that life. I don’t simply find myself on vacation and I don’t simply find a life of faith and recovery, by accident.
In today’s passage, John recorded the voice of an angel describing those who follow Christ as blessed. This doesn’t mean that we’re guaranteed to be rich and have lots of toys on Earth if we follow God’s will. It does mean however, that we can experience a life of authentic joy and peace. The choice is ours. We can have the blessed life, but if we want it, we must make a conscious choice to daily pursue it.