Heroin, The Book of Job, and the Search for Something More
An Oscar-winning actor was found dead in a New York City apartment bathroom with a heroin needle still protruding from his body. Sources reveal that the actor foretold of his own possible demise a few weeks prior to being found unresponsive, leaving behind a wife and children.
Some view life as an unbearable play and hasten their exit from its stage. Others wishing only to escape it for a moment run headlong into euphoria, stumble into addiction, and fall unexpectedly at the feet of death.
Altering the Brain
What is it about life that causes people to manipulate their brain chemistry in dangerous and extreme ways?
- Is it the promise of pleasure?
- Is it the relief of pain?
- Is it a rebellion against authority?
- Is it the insatiable desire for a new experience?
There are plenty of other ways to get a dopamine fix. You could argue that skydiving is dangerous, extreme, and manipulates your brain chemistry. Why then, do so many of the rich and famous chase their dragons into a room meant for expelling waste only to expend their life in the ultimate waste, meeting death with neither companionship nor dignity?
Human beings have been living in a state of rebellion since the first temptation of new knowledge. The Book of Genesis describes how the serpent tempted Eve with a promise that she would “be like God, knowing good and evil” if she followed his suggestion to eat of the forbidden fruit (Genesis 3:24-25). How often do we also eat of new fruit without thinking carefully about the consequences?
We have all been designed to search for something more. We live in a state of dis-ease, constantly looking for the solution to our restlessness. Desperate to solve the mystery, we attribute our longings to the things we think we know. It must be a problem with our relationship, our career, or the result of a childhood trauma. If the problem exists only as part of the individual, then the individual should be able to solve the problem with the right kind of action or thinking.
But this does not seem to be the case.
Many religions, including numerous sects of Christianity, are based on works righteousness. This simply means that in addition to accepting God’s saving grace, there is something else you must do in order to secure your salvation.
The problem is, you can never do enough.
Many spiritualists attempt to offer solutions to your problems. Some of them are based on:
- The Law of Attraction
- Positive Thinking
These ideas find favor when things are going well. But where is their power when we are afflicted with disease and misfortune?
Renewing the Mind
In the Book of Job, a man is tested beyond what any human could bear. Job, once wealthy and prosperous, loses everything in a test of his faith. Job could have denounced his faith. He could have turned to “strong drink.” He could have developed an addiction simply trying to numb the pain. Job had every reason to be found by himself nearby a commode, unresponsive. After losing his possessions, his health, and his family, why should he not curse God and die as his wife at one point suggests?
The answer is that Job had faith in a God who promises a destiny of justice and righteousness. The Christian god makes it possible to have meaning in eternity, and thus meaning here and now. The god of the Bible provides a basis for morality and explains our intuition about right and wrong–a Law the Apostle Paul describes as written on our hearts. After all of Job’s grievances in response to Bildad in Chapter 19, he turns back to his faith in the Lord saying:
“But I know my living redeemer, and he will stand on the dust at last. Even after my skin has been destroyed, yet I will see God in my flesh. I will see Him myself; my eyes will look at Him, and not as a strange. My heart longs within me” (Job 19:25-27).
Your heart may be longing within you, too. But
- You cannot find fullness in the pursuit of emptiness.
- You will find no basis for the law of attraction.
- Only a Divine Mind can create merit in the practice of mindfulness.
As you search to ease your restless soul and search for the “something more,”
“Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2).
The renewing of the mind by the word of God–not the altering of the mind–will lead to the transformation you are seeking.
What caused you to search for something more?
- Why You Should Say No to Spiritual Pornography
- Forfeit: When Life Coaches Choose Death
- Alcohol Abuse: Changing Attitudes to Change the World
Photo Credit: The Bible and Its Story, Volume 6: Poetry–Prophets, Psalms to Isaiah, Logos Software, Public Domain.
About Jason B. Ladd
Jason is an author, speaker, Marine, and father of five. He has flown the F/A-18 Hornet as a Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1 (MAWTS-1) Instructor Pilot and the F-16 as an Instructor Pilot. His book One of the Few: A Marine Fighter Pilot’s Reconnaissance of the Christian Worldview is scheduled for release in November 2015