Monday, November 16, 2009

Barn Building

I noticed that my youngest son, Nate, was busier than usual this year. It seems he was always out someplace helping someone move or tear down a wall or patch or roof or.... whatever needed to be done. I asked him about it one day and he told me it was his "year of barn building". When I asked him what he meant he explained to me how in the Amish Community, whenever someone needed a new barn or their old barn had burned down or been destroyed, the entire community would come together and help them erect a new barn. He told me that this year he had decided that whenever anyone asked him for help, or needed help with a project, and it was something he could do or had time to do, that he would volunteer to help. I thought it was a terrific idea and I was very proud of him that he would simply think of doing something like this without any outside (or ulterior) motivation.
The biggest obstacle to overcoming addiction is coming to the realization that our greatest struggle is addiction to "self". Sharon Hersh delves headlong into this subject in her great book, "The Last Addiction". All of us are driven to "pursue pleasure" and "avoid pain" in life. What we all need to realize is that the Bible speaks a pearl of truth when it says that "it is better to give than to receive". For all of us struggling with recovery from addictions it would be helpful to take a good look at our lives and ask ourselves the question: "Are we still living only for ourselves, or are we using our recovery to reach out to others, to get us out of "ourselves"? I think it's a lesson for all of us. Thanks Nate for the reminder that I am not the center of the universe. Cudos from a proud papa...