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We all numb emotional responses in one way or another. One person may use drugs or alcohol, while another uses binging on Netflix or working ridiculous hours when unneeded. Numbing is not only a matter of addictions or illegal substances. We might not view it as numbing since whatever tool we are using is legal or “good.”
I used to think about my experiences in life, the good and the bad, and thought that in some way, it led me to God. However, it is pretty clear; I was using God to numb whatever I was experiencing. Now you might be thinking that’s not a bad thing, right? I mean, Christ Himself says, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavily laden, and I will give you rest” (Mt. 11:28). Of course, we find rest in God, Who is willing to give it liberally; but it misses the point. God is more than some divine therapist that I go to when life is painful or am feeling down. He is more than a means of “taking the edge off.” God wants more than that; He wants union.
“If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him” (Jn 14:23). When I use God to numb, it becomes “me”-centered rather than Christ-centered. Rest and peace are a byproduct of the life that I live with and in God; rather than the aim themselves. It’s not just God though, substitute God with anything else spiritual; hymns, service, fellowship, fasting, reading, and even prayer. We may find that it’s just a tool to numb. You might be thinking, “no, that’s not me,” but don’t discount it. The most common response when asking people why they go to church or do all these spiritual means is “to go to heaven.” Where is God? Life with God is exactly that, life, with God. The main point is this. My goal should be to strive in this union with God, with all the means the Church prescribes; nothing more, nothing less.