Alive and demise all at the same time.

One of my very favorite bands is Deertick. If you have visited Lola it’s a guarantee you have heard them as many of their songs occupy the playlist. We’ve had countless people tell us how much they love our music. If you are on Spotify here is a link to our playlist, we’d love for you to follow. You will find Deertick and hundreds of other artists that Gina loves. 

In an interview with the lead singer of Deertick, John J. McCauley, he was asked about his distinct vocal sound. John said it came from smoking Camel cigarettes and drinking whiskey. I was fascinated by this. One of his most distinctive qualities that adds to his success as an artist is the very thing that could take it away. Talk about irony. 

This really sent me down an emotional rabbit hole in which I thought of all the things we chase after and how they will both make us feel most alive and lead to our demise all at the same time…money, power, fame, status, attention, approval, admiration. When we have these things we feel like we have it all. We frantically work to do whatever it takes to keep it alive which in many cases sends us into a downward spiral. 

Think about all the once innocent celebrities who climbed their way to stardom only to have that stardom chew them up and spit them out for the whole world to see. Brittany Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Corey Haim, Leif Garrett…the list goes on and on. 

In my pursuit of knowing God on a personal level I have fallen into this trap. I’m so drunk on Jesus (BTW, you can get that T-shirt) that I keep digging deeper and deeper to try to know everything I can about Him. I’m trying to figure out the un-figure-out-able. This has caused strife in the most important relationship in my life…my marriage. My pursuit of knowing God has caused me to spiral a couple times. 

As always God pointed me to clarity, ironically while I was reading a book titled “Knowing God” by J.I. Packer. He writes:

“We need to ask ourselves: What is my ultimate aim and object in occupying my mind with these things? What do I intend to do with my knowledge about God once I have it? For the fact that we have to face is this: If we pursue theological knowledge for its own sake, it is bound to go bad on us. It will make us proud and conceited. The very greatness of the subject matter will intoxicate us, and we shall come to think of ourselves as a cut above other Christians because of our interest in it and grasp of it; and we shall look down on those whose theological ideas seem to us crude and inadequate and dismiss them as very poor specimens. For, as Paul told the conceited Corinthians, “Knowledge puffs up…The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know (1 Cor 8:1-2) 

To be preoccupied with getting theological knowledge as an end in itself to approach Bible study with no higher a motive than a desire to know all the answers, is the direct route to a state of self-satisfied self-deception”

Packer later goes on to say:

“Is it not fact that a love for God’s revealed truth, and a desire to know as much of it as one can, are natural to every person who has been born again?

“And is it not right that we should seek to satisfy that God-given desire to the full?”

I could quote this entire book…it’s so good. 

This was me! My desire to know God turned into an endless pursuit in knowing about God, two totally different things. The thing that made me feel like I was on top of the world…a relationship with God…was the very thing that made me spiral because I began trying to figure Him out. 

As a deep thinker I have to be careful not to become consumed by the details of the object of my affection. When I listen to the lyrics of Deertick’s songs I know that John J. McCauley is a deep thinker as well. I would assume the deep thinking leads to a shot of whiskey and a cigarette to take the edge off…the shot of whiskey and cigarette leads to more deep thinking which leads to another shot of whiskey and a cigarette…it’s a cyclical spiral of consumption which will raise us up and slam us down. 

I am thankful for my Husband who is wiling to have the hard conversations with me. I have to be humble enough to take his information and self-reflect. I have to respect his perspective and put myself in his shoes. I have to make my ego take a seat to make sure it doesn’t enter the conversation before my heart does. 

I share this in hopes it lands with someone who has been confronted about the depth of their love and adoration of something…you found so much love and joy in something that it consumed you. It’s hard for us to see this in ourselves because we feel blissful but it is clear to the people closest to us that we are teetering. We need our loved ones to pull us out before we spiral into the abyss of the un-figure-out-able.  Have the hard conversations or at least be open to them. It SUCKS in the moment but when you allow yourself to step back and take a look at yourself from the perspective of someone who truly loves you, it makes you better.