One of my favorite songs is by The Crusaders called "Street Life". In it Randy Crawford sings of the perils of an addict with no hope. This is how the song begins: I still hang around neither lost nor found.
That my have been you, it was certainly me and I sang that song for far too many years. In the depths of addiction our only hope seems to be to do the same thing and get deeper into it. We escape into it to virtually run away from time. Later in the song are these words: I play the street life because there's no place I can go.
Hopeless, lost, no place to go that sums it up for that lifestyle. But then in 1984 it all began to change for me. In the Book of Luke Chapter 15 we read some different words from Street Life. This passage has three parables about being Lost And Found, some call it the lost and found chapter. There is the lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost son.
They all have basically the same conclusion, that "there is rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents" However the Life Recovery Bible commentary adds something new, that God feels his kingdom is incomplete without us. Jesus ate with sinners and tax collectors, he healed the marginalized, and in the parable of the lost son, his father ran to meet him after living the wild life. Proof that the father felt incomplete without his son.
But it was also someplace the son could go, and that is the same place I went, home to the father. Hard to imagine the size of the party when I came home from squandering my life away but I am sure it was huge because my sins were many.
Maybe you echo the words of that song today, neither lost nor found, no place you can go. That's what we come to believe with that addictive lifestyle. It's a lie, it's only a song, it's only a myth, and like addiction it is make believe, it's escape.
I love the last verse of that passage in Luke, let it marinate in your spirit: But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again, he was lost and is found.
Don't escape, come home to the Father, and let's have a real party!
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.