Three Taverns Church

You’ve Been Down That Road Before…


Before I entered recovery for pornography addiction I had my own little plans and designs for life: Earn promotions, make more money, buy another car (or two), buy a bigger house, send the kids to better schools, retire someday, buy a mobile home, travel, visit the grandkids, etc. Does that sound like the most boring, scripted life ever, or what?

My life-plan reminded me of the scene from the movie The Matrix when Neo (played by Keanu Reeves) threatens to get out of a car in the middle of a thunderstorm. A character named Trinity says to Neo, “You’ve been down that road before; you know exactly where it leads.” I’ve been down the road of my own plans before and I know exactly where it leads: Unhappiness. Depression. Boredom. Anger. Jealousy. Fear. Selfishness.

What if, instead, I let God in and let Him control my life? What if instead of buying a 3rd car or motorcycle or boat, I donated a car to a single mom who could not afford one herself? What if instead of buying a bigger house, I contributed to a mission trip to build houses for people living in refrigerator boxes under a bridge? What if instead of living out a bad Hollywood version of the American Dream, I was able to change the world by letting Jesus Christ live through me?

I believe that I am on the greatest adventure available to humankind. By following in the footsteps of Christ no day of mine is the same as any that came before; every day is new and different because every day I am new and different! In many ways I am learning to truly ‘live on the edge’ and trust something far greater than myself. I have never been down this road before, and I can only hope where it might lead.

Are you tired of treading down the same old path every day? Do you want to live an adventure that modern-day thrill-seekers would envy? If so, all I can tell you is that you’ve got to let go. You’ve got to stop trying to control your world through anger, alcohol, drugs, pornography, religion, food, work, approval, or whatever your brand of addiction is. Your plans for your life suck. They are boring. And they are going to leave you empty and disappointed. Trust me, I know.

14 thoughts on “You’ve Been Down That Road Before…

  1. So, my brother…and I ask with sincerity…HOW does one let go…or “appropriate”? That’s the subtle trick. “Give me the 10 ways to appropriate, GOD. I’ll do it.” Sounds like the Israelites.

    All we can do is to rest. We have been in the arena fighting..and losing. Now, come out and rest. Simply look at the One who has already overcome and, as you look, become.

    Romans 12. Our responsibility is only to present ourselves. The rest is GOD’s responsibility.

    • Like I said: let go. Stop trying to control God, and that includes learning formulaic prayers and others ways to ‘manipulate’ God into doing what we want. You’re right on the money when you say ‘rest’ because that’s what letting go is like. Resting, while the world slaves away.

      • I hear ya! When I was married only one person did not vehemently disapprove: my good friend/mentor-the man who calls me Dumb Boy. When I asked him if I was proceeding properly he said, “John, do whatever you believe GOD is telling you to do.”

        I did. I married my bride, much to the dismay of everyone. After she and I eloped, upon the first sit-down with her father, I was informed, “I have a .45, a shovel and a backyard. No one will miss you much.”

        I told him to do his best and that, if they messed with us too much, I would take her 1,000 miles away and they would never see her again.

        At that time we lived in Winchester, VA. Now we live in Little Rock, AR…1,000 miles away and she is MINE!

        She was always mine…as I was and am hers.

        From the beginning it made sense to my Meg and me. We were not victims of a romance. We knew clearly that GOD had brought us together.

        Fast Forward nine years. We are happy on our own. Her. Me. Each of us seeking GOD indivudually, failing miserably and standing again.

        Galatians 5:1- Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

        Look at this backwards. What is the “yoke of bondage”? The Law-do’s and don’t’s…approval, ad infinitum…all the things when you mentioned one’s aprticular addiction.

        Mostly, though, I would say the yoke of bondage is FEAR. More than any imperative in the Bible is the command, “Do not fear.”

        Now, on this side of the cross, we can know that we are outside the grip of death and can only be threatened with the Shadow of the Fear of Death. Sound familiar?

        Thy rod and thy staff. The thing that protects me and disciplines me….they comfort me.

        You know the rest.

        My point is this (sorry, I am a story-teller). When Meg and I married I came to understand some of what GOD has regarding peace.

        I think in Philippians it says about “peace surpassing understanding.” That is not some kind of supernatural feeling of extreme peace…the emotional outlet some seek. That fenzy is not peace.

        Everyone was losing their minds. We were CRAZY…How could we???..blahzay blahzy blahzay…and in the midst of the chaos…PEACE.

        Apart from the Bible I have found one book EXTREMELY beneficial for me and I would recommend it to ANYONE. the book is “The Green Letters” by Miles Stanford. Another excellent read is “The Search for Significance.”

        You, Sir are more educated than am I and I would not presume to instruct you…only offer my gleanings.

        I would also offer a loose interpretation of Augustine: If you are going to sin, sin vigorously.

      • You’ve got a lot of good points in here, too many for me to respond to item-by-item. I did like your story of your in-laws…God said we are supposed to leave our fathers and mothers and be joined to our spouses…but in America it seems that in-laws are treated as part of the married couple…
        I also like your words, “Each of us seeking God individually, failing miserably and standing again.” It reminds me not to be afraid to fail in seeking Him. If you’re wrong, He’ll correct you. But if you never seek…if you never ask…if you never knock…if you stop at cookie-cutter Christianity 101 because you’re afraid of offending a pastor, or God, or your peers, I don’t believe your faith will ever grow. But that’s just my opinion.

      • The Bible tells us that a man will fall…not once…not twice, but…wait…no, NOT three times….”A righteous falls SEVEN times (here comes the cool part), AND RISES AGAIN (caps added). See? Righteous men fall like CRAZY…all the time..but they get up again, by the grace of GOD.

      • And when it comes to stop trying to “control” HIM…no joke. My GOD, and HE is My Personal GOD, has a CRAZY urge to take credit for things and, if I even think I am cattle chuting HIM into an obligation, turns OLD TESTAMENT real quick and starts saying things like, “Where were you, boy, when I set the limits for the oceans?” That pretty much shuts me up.

        The best prayer I know is, “GOD help me.” Other than that, I don’t look for specific answers because HE usually addresses things in a way I could not foresee.

        Duh? Of course HE foresaw it. HE’s GOD, that’s HIS job. Geesh…what else do we pay HIM for?

        BTW…My GOD has an AWESOME sense of humor, too.

      • LOL! I like that….”turns Old Testament real quick.”

      • HE cracks me up too. I swear, sometimes I can see HIS ironic finger in things and just laugh my butt off.

  2. “Your plans for your life suck. They are boring.” Love it. Just what I needed to hear… definitely need to let go of the planning and embrace the adventure. Good words.

  3. Thanks! Your blog posts are great!

  4. Three months after you posted this, RM, I’m finally getting a chance to read it. Gotta say that we have come to the same crossroads, and I am trying to take the same road as you. It’s been a little tough recently. I’m only a few steps down the new road, and I’m already looking over my shoulder at the other road. It’s a really good-looking road. It’s wide and smooth, it’s paved and clearly marked. The grade is nice and easy. And it’s the road I had planned to walk for quite some time. But ultimately it does little to further God’s kingdom. And so I’ll continue to walk this road even as I see signs along the way that say, “The paved road is only a few hundred yards behind you. You can make this so much easier on yourself. Just turn around.” God, please give me strength.

    • Hey fastmov4, better late than never! Walking down the new road is a lot like running a marathon or climbing a mountain: Just concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other. Don’t worry about what will happen down the road.

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