“Off the Wagon”

It’s already 4:00 in the afternoon. As a general rule I am fresher and more motivated to write in the mornings. But not today. Last night I “fell off the Wagon.” Anyone else have a Wagon? There are very bumpy and susceptible to potholes and inclement road conditions. You really do have be paying pretty close attention to ride it without incident. There are lots of different types of Wagons to fall from, and last night mine was the “Emotional Sobriety” Wagon. I didn’t break anything, but I have many lingering injuries. I had been riding said Wagon at a pretty consistent clip for a good stretch of time. I was actually fairly proud of this. In hindsight, the best kind of sight there is, I may have been a little cocky, which led to carelessness, which led to me falling backwards off the Wagon. I have fallen off some other Wagons before. The “Healthy Eating” Wagon is always a crowded and popular one. A close second is probably the “Daily Exercise” Wagon. Then there are the more intense Wagon rides whose passengers are holding on for dear life most of the time: the “Addiction Wagons”.

So, how did I end up on my backside on the ground as my Emotional-Sobriety Wagon carried on without me? The specifics aren’t important, but I will say that I basically got so wound up, so angry, so fearful, and so overwhelmed with the powerless-ness I have over other people’s choices, that I completely failed to utilize all “tools” I have studied and read about and prayed for to help me ride safely ON the Wagon. Tools like “Live and let live”, and “Let Go and Let God”, and “Pause, Pray and Proceed”. I ignored that I have been practicing not interfering with other’s decisions or trying to get others to do what I think will bring them happiness. I forgot to do MY job and tried to do GOD’S job-the biggest mistake of all. So in all my scurrying around trying to do the opposite of what keeps me “Emotionally Sober”, I fell off. Hard.

I woke up groggy and with an “Emotional Hangover”. So disappointed in myself. I had hurt people I love, including me. I had acted as if I had no solution to my fears and worries and insanity. Part of me wanted to just crawl back in to bed and give up. Thoughts like, “I’m an idiot. I stink. I’m a failure. I’ll never be able to be the mature woman I want to be. I quit.” The temptation was to just accept that I am a loser and start walking along the bumpy road; who needs that stupid Wagon anyway?!

And yet, God graciously, mercifully, showed me another solution. I could get back on. Could it be that simple? Think about it, people…It’s a WAGON. It’s not a Ferrari that sped away and left me abandoned on the highway. Wagons are slow. Chances are, even with my injuries, I could still catch it and hop back on. It doesn’t have to be FATAL. I could get on and keep riding. Only now, I am smarter and wiser about how I ride. I am more cautious when I see bumpy road approaching. I hold on. I pray. I get my tools ready to use. You can do this too. So you ate a sleeve of Chips Ahoy last night?…tonight you can have some fruit. Drank a few too many beers or broke a streak of abstinence?…crawl back on the Wagon and keep going. Spent a week/Month/Year neglecting your conscious contact with God?…Get your “Spiritual Wagon” out of that-there barn, dust if off and get moving! It’s never-ever, too late to hop, or crawl, back onto that Wagon.

“Your mercies are new everyone morning; great is your Faithfulness, O God.”
Lamentations 3:23

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