What I'm Reading Today: Revelation 8-9
One of my family members is currently living through a nightmare. This family member has a twenty-one year old who is living with an addiction to drugs and alcohol.
The twenty-one year old has gone through a stunning transformation – from a personable student-athlete in middle-school to an angry, belligerent young man who can't hold down a job. As the addictions have taken over the individual's life over the past six years, the twenty-one year old has lived through hell. He has been beaten within an inch of his life on the streets, he has served time in jail for assault, he has endured the loss of respect from family members from whom he has repeatedly stolen, and he has spent many a night on the streets.
As I look at the situation from the outside, it's hard for me to understand why the individual refuses to change. I find myself wondering, "Why would someone continue in his/her behavior when that behavior is obviously destroying his/her life?"
I ask this question because I have been fortunate to have never wrestled with a chemical addiction myself. I don't understand why someone would ignore the obvious need for change and continue down a path toward destruction.
That same dynamic is evident in today's passage from Revelation, for in that passage we are told about a series of nightmares unleashed on humanity. Given the horrors of those nightmares, you would think that folks would wake up, get a clue, and change.
Sadly, they don't. "The remaining men and women who weren't killed by these weapons went on their merry way," the author indicates, "didn't change their way of life."
Those haunting words are a reminder of how difficult it can be for us human beings to make changes – especially some of the most dramatic changes that are holding us back or keeping us connected to situations that are destructive and life-denying.
Today, I would invite you to take an inventory of your own life and see if there is a part (or perhaps even parts) of your life in dire need of change. If you find such an area, remember today's reading from Revelation and remind yourself, "It doesn't have to be this way." That simple realization might propel you on to new – and more life-giving places.
Til next time …