A little over 2 years ago, I was laying in the fetal position in a hotel room, drunk, crying my eyes out. I was feeling the full weight of decisions made, and the full weight of the decision I was about to make. I was contemplating leaving my family. The reality of that, and what I would lose, had come crashing in on me though, and I couldn’t do it. So I waved the white flag, and decided to get help.
My first steps were incredibly hard, yet simple. I knew I needed an immediate mentor, someone that I could lean heavily on to help guide me through hard decisions. I called my dad. I knew I needed community, so I got back into men’s group and got plugged into a small group. I knew there were some deep rooted lies I had believed, so I started meeting with a life coach. I was building a structure that would guide me through sobriety. I was trusting someone else, who was further along than me, to help pull me out of the hole I had dug. I was temporarily handing over the reins to my life, and it was amazing! Hard work for sure, but I just had to keep doing what I was told, and I got to see the fruit.
The hard part about walking through sobriety, and into more and more freedom, is that you get more and more responsibility. Suddenly, I’m leading a small group, and now I’m the one giving out homework. I’m still staying in steady contact with my dad, but we are now sharing with each other, as peers. Who’s going to tell me what I should do next?!?! It slowly started to click…the reins were back in my hands. I needed to own my life. I needed to keep finding giants to kill. I needed to keep finding mountains to climb. I needed to proactively stay in contact with the men around me.
One of the greatest risks of freedom is feeling that I have arrived, that I can let up and coast a bit. Drag racers don’t let up because they realize they are going really fast and doing awesome. No, it’s pedal down until you cross the finish line. Bull riders don’t relax their grip at 7 seconds, because they know they are doing really well. Water that isn’t moving becomes stagnant. You get the idea. Pedal down.
I think that is where David messed up. David had fought hard since he was a child. From lions to giants, from marauding hordes to a jealous hateful king, he had handled everything that came his way. David had reached the pinnacle of success. He was now king over both Israel and Judah. He had defeated the Philistines, the people of Moab, and the Syrians. I would imagine he felt pretty good at this point of his life. He had arrived. So what did he do? He sent out his generals to fight his battles. He coasted, and it cost him dearly. He saw Bathsheba, had sex with her, and had her husband murdered. The collateral damage was massive. Our decisions never just affect us. But you know what? He corrected. He put in the work, cleaned up his mess, and kept pushing forward. With passion!! To the point that his men had to finally tell him that he was done fighting because he was too old.
So practically, what does that look like? Be intentional. Daily. Pay attention to where your time is going. Make sure you have at least one hobby that brings you life and gives you a chance to excel and show growth. Find someone that you are jealous of. Someone that is living the life you want. Watch them. Serve them. Befriend them. Champion them. Follow them. Find things you are afraid of and conquer them. Set goals. Goals for the day, goals for the week, goals for the next 5 years. Dream unreachable dreams and then go for them with everything in you. Put the pedal down, hit the nitrous, and don’t ever let up.