Running from God
And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. Genesis 3:8
More than nine years after my last relapse, I can still remember my thoughts that night. I was tired and not sleeping after working a run of nights. My back was sore, and I’d not been investing any effort in my faith or recovery. I was a time bomb. I had a lot of reasons to use opioids, and when the opportunity presented itself, I’d already made my choice. I felt God telling warning me. Do not do this. You’ll regret it. I had God figured out though. I knew I could do what I wanted and then ask forgiveness tomorrow. I’ll use just this once and then I’ll stop. It was a foolproof plan. Once I took those pills though, it was as if a bomb went off on my mind. I knew at that moment that I wasn’t going to stop, and I wasn’t going to ask God’s forgiveness. I liked opioids and I was going to continue.
The next day, as I kept using, there was part of me that I knew I should return to God, but I just couldn’t. I’d looked him in the face, purposefully defying his will. Though I claimed that I believed in him, I followed my appetite, decimating my supposed faith. Looking at God would have made me face what I’d done and that’s definitely not what I wanted. I wanted to keep using. Faith means following God’s will and that’s not the path I was on. Going my way, by definition, meant turning and running from God.
Adam and Eve experienced this in today’s passage. In the story, the first couple had just eaten of the forbidden fruit when they realized they were naked and tried to conceal their shame with fig leaves. Then, when they heard God approaching, they hid among the trees, hoping to avoid him. Meeting God would have meant facing the reality of their sin. That thought was too painful, so instead of returning to the only one who could help them, they made things worse and ran from God.
In recovery now, I’ve got to remember that I don’t get to just do whatever I want today, ask forgiveness tomorrow, and walk away with no consequences. When I follow my self-destructive nature, the first casualty is my faith, as I turn myself away from God. I may not realize it at the time, but cutting myself off from the only one who can save me from myself is complete insanity.