Up, up, and away.

It’s like a long lost friend and someone I’ve never met.

It has the most beautiful deep set eyes the shade of royal blue.

It’s like family I never wanted to know and a mother who doesn’t know how to love.

It is everything to me and nothing at all.

My first ride with it was when I was sixteen, and there was a sharp bend in the road, and I fell back on myself. And this whole time I thought I was inching forward, but that’s what happens when you can’t see a thing.

It’s addictive, the dark. I didn’t quit it until my early thirties, and I sometimes still wait up for it to say hello.

Like a couple of days ago. I’m cleaning up my act and getting off caffeine again. The three days of torment that come with something like that is beyond physical for me. It’s spiritual. There was a looming energy that didn’t want to leave. When I’m on caffeine, I feel mildly satisfied like a baby with its bottle. But then as the day wears on, there’s a poor-tempered spirit that rears its ugly head, just tame enough to not do any real damage. “Bad mood,” “grumpy,” “short fuse” — different dresses, the same doll. It really isn’t a good look on anyone.

God was the one who asked me to get off caffeine again. “Why do all the bad things always happen to me?” That was pretty much my attitude. Not great.

I kept ignoring Him until the physical side effects were too much to take. Oily hair, bad skin, a dull ache in my temple. He knows how to get me. So I gave in, and I thought not getting my daily high would be the worst of my sorrows.

Not so.

It was a three day battle with a darkness that kept dragging me back down. A look in the mirror, a whisper in the ear. A whole bottle full of crazy shaken over the drain. If it weren’t for the Holy Spirit, I’m not sure I would be standing here right now. That ever-present guard of my heart who loves me enough to look the deep in the eye and turn it shallow.

I’m on the other side now. No more dull ache in my head. Better hair, better skin. But most importantly better sense of who God is and His purpose for me. How easy we fall into traps because society deems them acceptable. And on the same note, how easy we ban things that might give an inch of pleasure, and in doing so, make them idols as well.

The point is, listen to Jesus and listen to the ones who know Him. All others are chasing a high that’ll soon float away.

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