The story of Eden is not over.” Every day we reenact the Fall as we turn in our desire to the very things that will destroy us. As Gerald May reminds us, Addiction exists wherever persons are internally compelled to give energy to things that are not their true desires. To define it directly, addiction is a state of compulsion, obsession, or preoccupation that enslaves a person’s will and desire. Addiction sidetracks and eclipses the energy of our deepest, truest desire for love and goodness. (Addiction and Grace)
Addiction may seem too strong a term to some of you. The woman who is serving so faithfully at church—surely, there’s nothing wrong with that. And who can blame the man who stays long at the office to provide for his family? Sure, you may look forward to the next meal more than most people do, and your hobbies can be a nuisance sometimes, but to call any of this an addiction seems to stretch the word a bit too far.
I have one simple response: give it up. Let go of the things that provide you with a sense of security, or comfort, or excitement, or relief. You will soon discover the tentacles of attachment deep in your soul. There will be an anxiousness; you’ll begin to think about work or food or golf even more. Withdrawal will set in. If you can make it a week or two out of sheer willpower, you will find a sadness growing in your soul, a deep sense of loss. Lethargy and a lack of motivation follow.
Remember, we will make an idol of anything, especially a good thing. So distant now from Eden, we are desperate for life, and we come to believe that we must arrange for it as best we can, or no one will. God must thwart us to save us.