There is no doubt that we can shake our heads in disbelief at many things in life, but nowhere is it more evident than in our world of addiction. But then again, in the three years of Jesus ministry there were some very Cunning & Baffling events that rocked the status quo!
This week there were two instances that fell into that first category, one bad, one good. In a meeting we do at a Sober Living facility, a man was visiting his girlfriend in that rehab, who had been in a nearly fatal car accident. He mentioned during the meeting (yes, visitors do come), of his love and support for her, but his words of his non-addictive lifestyle made little sense to most of us there. We knew something wasn't right.
A few hours later, an ambulance whisked the woman away, non-responsive after an overdose by a drug this same guy did with her. Strange way to show love, contradictory to his words just spoken earlier, definitely Cunning & Baffling. What's worse, no one could find our what happened to her ultimately and where she was. We just don't know.
Last night in another meeting at a sober living facility, I handed a 1 year sober chip to a former gang member who had a long conversation with me several months ago about his frustrations and anger. We offer them to speak after achieving this milestone, and he delivered one of the best 5 minute recovery stories I have ever heard. Most didn't think he would make it; but he not only did he make it, he is now giving back. Cunning & Baffling? You bet.
But there is a precedent. Jesus turned away a rich religious man who had followed all the rules because he wasn't ready to surrender, healed a violent crazy man running around a cemetery who had had enough and fell at Jesus feet, never spent much time with those who thought they knew it all, (who turned out to be the ones who crucified him), yet healed demon possessed people, some of whom never asked for it, disfigured lepers and outcasts who no religious folk would even speak to, then congregated often with despicable sinners. Nobody then could figure it out.
Jesus was never cunning which achieves an end by deceit, but his baffling ways caused those against him to attempt cunning methods to trick him. Never did he fail, but because others got frustrated with him they took him down, or so they thought.He bounced back from their condemning overdose.
God takes the ones who never thought they could make it and turns them into the ones who spread his message of hope and salvation. And, the ones who choose to live by Cunning & Baffling methods who think they have it all made?
Let's just say they have a special room reserved in a very hot climate!
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.