Believe it or not, one of the first uses of what then was called Duck Tape was to reinforce cables on the Manhattan Bridge in New York. Makes you think about ever crossing over it, doesn't it? Later on it became Duct Tape during WWII when an assembly line worker came up with the idea to use it for sealing ammo cans up, and now today it's uses are unlimited. Or maybe not?
You just purchased your dream car, that 2002 Honda Civic with 190K miles, that $500 jewel of transportation. No problem that the motor mounts had gone out and were replaced by Duct Tape or that the cables were wrapped in Duct Tape or that that oil leak was patched up with Duct Tape or that the water hose was also patched up with a heavy dose of Duct Tape. It ran just fine despite it. Or so you thought until you drove it.
Now traveling down 85 at a modest speed of 75 to try out that special ride, smoke begins to come out of your heater vents, the Civic begins to stutter and shimmy and now in the middle lane surrounded by huge semi's you find yourself having buyers remorse.
So too, does a life that has been wrapped in the Duct Tape of money, drugs, alcohol and other temporary fixes come apart always at the most inopportune of times, especially in the middle of crisis. For lack of a more sober reference, Jesus spoke about this most appropriately in Matthew 9:16-17 in a way that had its usual multiple meanings:
No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth in an old garment. For the patch will pull away from the garment, and a worse tear will result. Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will spill, and the new wineskins will be ruined. Instead they will pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.
The only way that Civic will run properly is with new parts, replaced by a master mechanic who may cost you 5 times what that jewel of a ride was worth. In life, that old self of ours, run down and battered by waves of storms, can only be healed and led by a new way of thinking given to us by The master mechanic himself who could not be contained or comprehended by an old way of thinking. He can turn out a check engine light with a mere blink in that direction. And his services are virtually free, but you must come to him for the repair.
His name is Jesus, and He can be the new wineskin and new engine that powers us into a life of unlimited possibilities with an unlimited warranty. And you can set that Duct Tape aside when you do and use it only for what it was intended to be, a temporary fix. Especially comes in handy when you are trying to avoid those big semi's of heartbreak, despair and loss.
The Big Book of A.A. guides us into this as God is mentioned more than 277 times as a permanent solution to a patched up life, and tells us that if we find him we have a spiritual awakening, a new perspective, a new direction, that we just cannot contain, we must pass it on.
There is no mention of Duct Tape in that book.
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.