Saturday, December 10, 2011

Where do you run?

The frigid wind bit my lungs as my husband and I walked into St. Boniface Hospital in Winnipeg, MB. I pondered the long winter ahead, the breathtaking wind chills Manitoba is famous for, and my own warm-weather-loving bones. A slight sigh escaped my lips as I wondered how quickly the next 2 1/2 bone-chilling months would pass by.

A minor ailment called us to the clinic, and I was well equipped with my Bible, laptop, journal, and a good book to pass by the couple hours I knew we would be there. I found a Tim Horton's downstairs, (Canada's wanna-be Starbucks) and curled up in a comfortable corner with my coffee and paraphernalia scattered around me. With the cultural diversity of the large city, I hardly needed my things to keep me entertained. People watching would have quite sufficed.

The slight, Oriental nurse sat across from me, enjoying her break, and the newspaper sitting on the table. Next to me at a small table four senior citizens explored the in's and out's of the latest town gossip. A brown-robed, rope-belted, heavyset priest waddled toward the pharmacy in search of who knows what. Across the room I watched two young men. One was a perfect picture of the hippie movement, and the other sported a neon blue mohawk. Obviously, they considered whatever they were talking about quite humorous. Behind me I heard Spanish, clear German accents were all around, Chinese came from another corner, and a sprinkling of French was faintly heard here and there.

In the midst of the hubbub, constructions workers from a near-by project coming in for coffee, and the many family members waiting, a lady caught my eye. Obviously a patient, she was dressed in a thin cotton robe, and pushed ahead of her all of her IV equipment. Memories of the awkwardness of this from my last year's gallbladder surgery made me wonder what prompted her descent from her hospital room. With only a thin, see-through plastic rain-coat covering her robe, she stepped outside into that breath-catching frigidness of winter. With a -25c windchill outside, I knew she must have some sort of important mission. As I watched her breath made steam clouds in the air, my questions were soon answered as she fumbled with a lighter and cigarette. One word crossed my mind as I sadly watched her endure the elements to get her fix. Addiction.

My mind traveled back to a series of meetings Joel and I had just sat through, in which the speaker had talked about this very thing. He brought out the fact that most of us are addicted to something. As I've thought about this over the past few days, many sad realities have crossed my mind as I ponder the culture around us. Apart from the obviously destructive addictions like drug abuse and alcohol, creep in subtle ones that most of us don't see any danger in. Money, entertainment, fashion, food, compliments and acceptance from others, leisure, caffeine, shopping, TV, and social networking.

An addiction usual develops through either a lack of self-control, or a real, or perceived need in our lives. I think it is safe to say that an addiction is anything we default to for a "fix" when we are feeling low, lonely, discouraged, or worthless. The dictionary brings in an element of devotion. It's usually the first thing to get done on our list, or perhaps we don't even put it on our list, because habit dictates that we never forget it. We feel an emptiness if it is missing from our lives.

The question begs to be asked. Where do we turn to when we feel needy? Is it God, His word, prayer, and godly friends and counsel, or it is something that gives us a temporal, feel-good high, and leaves us crashed, burned and more needy afterwards. Are we finding our fulfillment in lasting habits and activities, or in the ONE who never changes? Have you asked yourself lately, where do find your satisfaction?

 "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." 
Matthew 11:28


Rachael said...

Good questions to ponder...Thank you for sharing.

Christina said...

It definitely is interesting to watch people. :) Great post! Oh and we do have Starbucks here in Canada too. Tim Horton's is what everyone calls Timmy's and its our social club, and the place "everyone" goes for breakfast and coffee. :)

A Heart of Praise said...

Excellent post, it is something to really think about!

Tim Horton's is the best:)!