Okay, so there’s this thing you’ve got going on in your life that’s killing you. You know the one I mean, right? You hate doing it, but for some reason you just can’t stop. You can feel it calling you, right? It’s like you’re old friends and this thing knows where you live and when you’re down it just finds you and calls you up, right? So, there you go again, and now you feel like crap again. You said you’d never do it again, but you did. You said you’d never call him up again, but you did. You said you’d never go back to her but you did. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, how in the world do I get out of this?
But here’s the deal: that’s not the right question yet.
The right question for now is not, “How do I stop?” but instead, “Why do I always do this?” And look, I can’t answer that question completely, because there may be tons of things going on there depending on what it is you’re trapped in, what kind of a scene you grew up in, etc. But I can tell you this: at least part of the reason you’re doing this thing you hate instead of stopping it is that you’re afraid to stop. Let me break that down a bit… The thing you’re trapped in is familiar. You know what it feels like to live here. You know what to expect. If you stop this thing (if you break up with that guy, or drop those friends you get high with or whatever) you will be walking into a whole new world you know nothing about, and that’s scary. In this world, even though it makes you feel crappy, you’re at home and you know your way around. Changing would be like walking into the unexpected.
When I drive around my hometown, I just get in my car and go. I don’t have to consult a map or check directions. I know two or three ways to get anywhere I want to go, but when I visit my friends in Chicago, I have to get on Google Maps, print out directions, consult the GPS on my phone, check mileage and even have someone in the passenger seat calling out the navigation. It’s a WHOLE LOT harder! That’s where you are right now. Part of the reason you can’t stop this thing is that when you do it, it’s like driving around your hometown. It may suck, but at least you know every turn. If you were to stop doing this thing, it would be a whole new world and you’re afraid to go there.
Here’s the thing, I know that stopping this thing is scary because it’s a whole new set of roads you don’t know how to drive, but don’t be afraid, because you don’t have to know your way around. Jesus said, “I am the Good Shepherd.” You don’t have to know where to go, because Jesus will get you there. He will shepherd you. The real hard part is not going to be making it on the new roads… the hard part is going to be deciding to stop driving around your home town. Don’t be afraid of what life is like without this thing in it. Just step out. Once you do that, you’ll find you have a Shepherd waiting to guide you.