What’s Your Addiction? — Carol McLeod Ministries

Addictions.  We all have them. 

Some additions are healthy … some are benign … while others are devastatingly harmful

Have I lost you already?  Let me explain. 

I am addicted to unsweetened iced tea with a generous squeeze of fresh lemon in it.   

I imbibe this beverage every single day of the year … winter … summer … spring and fall.     

The wind can be wailing … the temperatures dropping … and a multitude of snow particles can be in the forecast … but I sit at my desk with a tall glass of lemon-graced unsweetened tea poured over cubes of ice.   

I do, indeed, drink more than one glass a day … but who’s counting?! 

My addiction to unsweetened iced tea is benign … it doesn’t hurt me, and it doesn’t help me.   

It does, however, make me very happy. 

I am not bold enough to reveal my harmful addictions … although if you think of things like sugar, carbs and butter … you might be in the right area of addictive and harmful behaviors.   

The truth is … I have never met a carb that I didn’t like.  

 ‘Nuff said. 

My friends will also tell you that I am addicted to college basketball, Christmas music, grandchildren, the beach and reading.  

Addictions.  We all have them. 

What drives us toward the things that we love?  

Who selects the activities and preferences we allow to take up a permanent place of residence in our hearts?  

Who determines what dominates the stuff of our daily existence?   

Who decides whether a person loves shopping or hiking?   

Biscuits or cucumbers?   

Books or football games?  

Solitude or the party life? 

Are we pre-wired for these addictions … or does life somehow program us for the things that we like and dislike? 

All I know is this … I didn’t like professional football until I married Craig McLeod.   

As far as I was concerned, football was just a bunch of sweaty, muddy men chasing each other and a ball while grunting.   

And then, because I loved Craig, I began to love the things that he loved.   

BC (Before Craig), autumn Sunday afternoons were spent taking long walks among rustling leaves, enjoying rejuvenating naps with large doses of classical music thrown in.   

AC (After Craig), autumn Sunday afternoons became a time of raucous behavior in front the television while eating pizza, wings and ice cream.   

“If you can’t beat ‘em … join ‘em,” became my wifely motto. 

I didn’t love college basketball until my sons, Matt and Chris, were about 6 and 8 years old.  

The battle of Duke vs. UNC began in our home.  I was hooked.   

March Madness has become a national holiday for us.  I kid you not. 

I wasn’t much interested in anyone’s grandchildren until I had some of my own.   

Now … I can’t get enough of other women’s grandbaby stories and pictures.   

If you share yours with me … I will probably laugh, cry and drool.  

I am addicted to grandchildren.  Guilty as charged. 

Now … let me tell you about my healthiest addiction … and perhaps I can convince you to embrace it as your own. 

My healthiest addiction began when I was just a little girl hanging out with my Dad in the early morning hours before dawn.   

I meandered down the stairs while the rest of the house was still snoring in their respective beds.   

Even the family cat was not awake yet to rub her white, furry softness against my little girl legs. 

Dad was always sitting at the kitchen table with a steaming cup of coffee … laced generously with milk ... in his left hand.  

His Bible was open in front of him. 

Also on the table was a red pencil with which Dad underlined verses in his Bible.  

He also made notes … written in that same red pencil that always seemed to need sharpening … on those computer cards of the 1960’s.   

I still have some of his computer cards to this day … they are among my earthly treasures. 

When I snuggled up to Daddy with my long blonde hair all tangled and my wrinkled pajamas still on … he would begin to talk about the Bible to me. 

He told me the stories of David … and Abraham … and Noah … and Esther.   

He quoted some of his favorite Psalms to me … and encouraged me to learn those precious verses in the early morning darkness. 

Dad told me about Paul’s missionary journeys and of the bravery of Peter.   

He would then write out a verse or two on a computer card and hand it to me so that I could memorize the verses that he had selected.   

When the rest of the house began to stir, I quietly slipped away from the table and began to get ready for the day.   

But a need in me had been filled … I had spent time with my father and with my Father in the Word of God.   

I felt like the richest little girl in the world. 

I am most proud of the addiction that I developed when in the company of my earthly father.   

I learned to love the Bible. 

Although over half a century has passed since living in the same home with my dad, I still can’t begin a day without valuable time spent in the Word of God. 

There is an emptiness inside of me that the only the power found in the Bible is able to fill. 

I feel that I have cheated myself … and the world in which I live … when I haven’t spent time reading in the Psalms …  or in the Book of John … or in one of the Epistles in the early morning hours. 

The addiction that I have to the Bible makes all other earthly addictions seem cheap and distracting.   

The mornings … the minutes … and the days … that I have spent with the Bible open in front of me have been the most fulfilling days of my life.  

Nothing else satisfies my soul like time spent in His presence reading His love letter that was written just to me!   

Absolutely nothing! 

Now … I know that Jesus doesn’t begrudge me my glass of iced tea. 

He doesn’t frown upon the laughter that happens in our home during college basketball season. 

He even encourages me to spend time at the beach basking in the sunshine and squishing my toes in the sand that He created. 

But there is something unspeakably powerful about a Father and His girl spending time together reading the Greatest Book ever written. 

I come to Him just as I am … sleepy, wrinkled and tangled.  

He looks at me with love in His eyes and calls me away from the temporary pleasures of this earth.   

He longs for me to invest my life in the things that will count for all of eternity.  

Who needs carbs anyway?!  I have Him! 

“Turn your eyes upon Jesus, 

Look full in His wonderful face. 

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, 

In the light of His glory and grace.” 

Thanks for listening to my heart this week.  As you know by now, my heart is truly not a perfect heart but it is a heart that is filled to overflowing with gratitude for the life I have been given and for the people who walk with me.  And, it continues to be a heart that is relentlessly chasing after God and all that He is!   

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