Most of us like to feel we’re in control of our life, and predictability gives us our best shot at feeling some sense of just that. Circumstances, events, and relationships, however, are highly UN-predictable and can make life seem out of control. As a way to respond, many turn to substances and compulsions which offer a hollow and fallacious predictability. If we do this long enough, we will unfortunately need more substances and compulsions because, as Richard Rohr says, “we will always need more of what doesn’t work.”
When we get stuck, sometimes it takes us time to realize where we are then even more time to want to change. But we have to do just that, as change is the only catalyst for growth. Studies show that drug addicts stop maturing emotionally when they start using drugs. They quit growing because they can’t change the one thing they need to change, making all change impossible. They might look 27, but emotionally they’re still 17.
As I look around Bastrop Federal Satellite Camp, I see people everywhere who badly need to change. Some of them are inmates. Oddly, I even saw one in the mirror this morning. He looked vaguely familiar.
Richard Rohr goes on to say this about why change is so hard for some of us. “The highly fortified religious ego is perhaps the most resistant to change of any, because “God” is used to maintain its own security need for superiority. This is the addictive pattern of thinking that characterizes so much of our religion and politics today. It creates very cognitively rigid, dualistic thinking in service to the ego. This thinking is impregnable to either love or logic. Could this be the deepest meaning of sin?”
My answer to Rohr’s question is, “Yeah, most likely it IS the deepest meaning of sin. That seems to be consistent with the teachings of Jesus.