Hello. My name is David Hayward, and I’m an addict.
An ex drug addict once told me that he didn’t miss the drugs (the crime, anxiety, cost, hiding, hardware, etc.). He missed was what the drugs gave (the euphoria, peace, no need for meaning, highs, etc.). He didn’t miss the cause. He missed the effects.
There are many things I don’t miss about the professional ministry or the institutional church… the headaches, the praise/rejection cycle, the divisions, the arguments, the fishbowl, the constant criticism and questioning, the crap, the codependencies, etc.). But I miss its effects. I miss what it provided. Even though the fact of the ministry had become a horrible reality for me, I enjoyed the sense of destiny it gave me. I had a reason to get up in the morning. I had a purpose. I had a future. My trajectory was completely laid out before me, and all I had to do was walk it with confidence. And it was completely fueled by the prophetic words, the promises, and the praise of some who believed in what I was doing.
Now that’s all gone. I gave it up. I gave up the drug. I don’t want the drug back, but I miss the effects. Which makes me wonder sometimes why I gave up the drug. But I can’t go back. Because even though it certainly felt real and provided very real beneficial effects, I know now that it wasn’t real. It was an addictive lifestyle.
Life is way more boring. But it is way more real.
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