Bondage

bondage

noun  bond·age  \ ˈbän-dij \

 

My son Andrew joined me on my last trip to NIH in Bethesda a few weeks ago.  This was my ninth meeting with the doctors and my third chemotherapy treatment.  What a blessing it was to spend two days of quality time with my son!  I think the last time we had one-on-one bonding time like this was when he was 16 and we drove to Milwaukee and back to visit my parents.   We chattered nonstop from early Monday morning when we boarded the flight to DCA to late Tuesday night when we said our goodbyes.  At 29, Andrew has grown into a good man.  I am so proud of how he overcame addiction through the power of Jesus Christ. No one is promised a perfect life.  There will be highs and lows and sometimes the challenges we face will seem insurmountable.  However, there are two immutable truths in this life that I have personally observed; we can either bond to what is good or be in bondage to what is bad.

I grew up in a small suburb of Milwaukee.  My parents, Micky and Earl, were good, God-fearing people.  Dad was part owner of a manufacturing company and worked long hours.  Mom took care of us kids and loved to perform at the local community theater. They were involved in the local Episcopalian church and loved my little brother Todd, my sister Cathy and myself equally.  According to an article in Psychology Today “The natural process of growing up and becoming socialized is typically so full of disappointments and confusion that it’s essential to have parents who can reliably offer us solace and calm us down when we’ve depleted our limited coping resources.” Read Entire Article  We were very blessed to have good parents.

One dictionary defines bondage as “The state of being a slave to something or someone”.  I think some people allow themselves to slip into bondage because of things that happen and it seems likely that childhood can be a breeding ground for types of bondage.  Destructive relationships, eating disorders and chemical dependency may have their roots in things that occurred much earlier in life.  Andrew suffered a massive stroke at the age of eight and was hospitalized for four months where he was subjected to pain and painkillers.  His addiction to oxycodone in his late teens though almost surpassed the anguish we felt during his stroke.   Today, Andrew is married to a beautiful woman and has a wonderful step-son.  Both he and his wife, Chrissy, have associates degrees in ministry and are very involved in their church where they hope to be on staff later this year.  I am certain that if it weren’t for Andrew’s pastor and the love of God, Andrew may not be alive today.

The apostle Paul, in his letter to the church in Rome, wrote: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2.  Although escaping from addictions is possible in the secular world the percentage who do so is very small.  I haven’t been able to find any statistics showing whether or not Christian counseling is more effective than secular counseling but I have personally seen the real transformation take place when God is involved.  To quote the Eagles in their song, Already Gone, “So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains. And we never even know we have the key”

Most of us, deep down, want the same things out of life. Of course, I’m talking about ultimate things, not immediate things. On the immediate level, people have a wide variety of desires. Some people like to travel. Some people like fine dining. Some people prefer indoor plumbing and a comfortable bed whereas other people like camping. There are a million different tastes, interests, and hobbies. But if we get to the level of the heart, I think people all around the world generally want the same things: We want purpose. We want to be happy. We want to know we are okay. We want to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. We want to be known by someone bigger than ourselves. We want to live forever.

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

 

 

4 thoughts on “Bondage”

  1. Randy, this one made me tear up. I remember Andrew’s struggles and all that you and Mary have gone thru with him. Your love, prayers and the love of our Lord is absolutely why he is alive today. I am thrilled you had this time with him. I am sure it was as meaningful to him as it was for you. The only thing else I feel I need to say is ..our God is an awesome God and you continue to serve Him well. Thanks for your wisdom my friend. My prayers will continue for you💋☝️

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