Seems like a strange question, doesn’t it? Possibly heretical?
I was having this discussion with a guy yesterday about how we get from place to place in our lives, and I began to tell him about how my life took a major turn when I began to use drugs, particularly LSD.
A lot of sacred cows in my life were slaughtered during this stretch of time, which was about five good solid years. It’s not a time that I egret at all, and in fact am very thankful for. But it does raise the question: did God use these drugs to guide me into the place that I’m at today?
I guess we have to start out with the idea that God is indeed leading our lives, that if we are willing to turn over control, that He will make the highest and best use of them. Personally, I have too much evidence to say that I’m just wandering in the breeze. I know that there’s a plan, and if I’m a created being, which I also believe, then it makes perfect sense for me to believe that there is someone who is extremely interested in how His creation turns out.
So I believe that God used drugs to help shape me and form me. I believe that as much as I believe that reading books or watching movies has shaped me. I don’t believe it was His first choice though.
So why would He allow me to be a part of such a seemingly anti-religious lifestyle? After all, don’t most of us hear from the time we’re little that drugs are bad and that you are some kind of lowlife if you use them?
If He is my Father, as He calls Himself in the Bible, then why would a parent with so much love towards their child allow that child to endanger themselves?
Could it be because He’s also given us the right to choose our own paths and make our own decisions? Could it be because decisions and choosing are how we learn about Him, how we grow closer and discover more of who we are and what He means to us?
As my son Ethan continues to grow and become aware of the world around him, I find myself giving him just a little more freedom than he previously had. He’s now playing with markers and crayons, and I’m not nearly as cautious about it than I was when he first picked them up.
Do you know why? Because he’s already tasted them. He’s already hurt himself with them and made a mess. This is expected when kids are growing up. It takes time to get familiar with something new, and there are going to be mistakes. But I don’t want to rob him of his creativity and awe of life by trying to keep him in this cocoon and insulate him from any kind of failure.
The same applies to us. We’re going to make mistakes. We’re going to taste things that make us vomit. Some things we do are extremely dangerous and hazardous to our health. Some things will get us killed.
But God allows stuff. I don’t know why He allows all that He does. To me, there is too much pain and too much suffering on this earth to believe that it is all good with God, that God is somehow just letting it all pass in front of Him for the sake of seeing us learn and discover. In fact, I believe that He’s in pain watching most of the stuff we do.
But I also believe that even through all these mistakes and wanderings, He’s always telling us what the best way is, every day. And for me, my wanderings led me into the world of drugs and experimentation. And while I can’t believe that He was thrilled with my decisions, He wasn’t going to cast me into some outer darkness or abandon me because of them.
Instead, He spent that time placing His purpose and dreams inside of me. He was patient and loving, even as I was ugly and dangerous. When I was seeing little cartoon figures running around on a lake, He was seeing the potential and texture that was being grafted into my life. He protected me when I was truly in danger. And most of all, He never gave up on me.
So if you find yourself wandering or wondering or feeling guilty, please relax. God doesn’t hate you. He’s not even angry. He loves you, and sincerely wants you to examine what you’re doing. He hopes that at some point you realize that His plans are better and more complete for you, and if you tap into them, they will awaken something that you’ve been aching to find.
All you have to do is pay attention.