I am a sucker for all things cute; therefore, I frequently find myself checking out various animal gifs online.
A recent one which captivated my attention was of a raccoon and some cotton candy. Has anyone else seen it?
This raccoon grabs a significant hunk of cotton candy and, like raccoons are prone to do, quickly rushes to a water source to “wash it” before eating it.
And then hard, cruel reality presents itself: the cotton candy dissolves in the water, instantly slipping through the little guy’s tiny hands, distressing and confusing our friend. You can almost hear him cry, “No! No! Come back!”
This gif made me think about addiction. We are, in essence, this little raccoon, aren’t we? We decide on and chase our cotton candy addiction, convinced it will satisfy us. And then, somehow, right before our eyes, its solution promise dissolves. It didn’t deliver; it didn’t last.
“Go and cry unto the gods which ye have chosen; let them deliver you in the time of your tribulation.” Judges 10:14
And, here we are, left confused and lost. Now what do we do?
Well, cue God, right?
“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” Isaiah 41:10
But, do we?
That seems to be the dilemma.
Here’s where Eve, a raccoon and each of us all share something in common…
“And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes…” Genesis 3:6
One can argue the phrase “eye candy” started here.
(I know, bad pun, bad pun).
Still, we seem to be captivated with the beautiful, alluring object of our affection. It somehow sells us on the answer of eternal satisfaction, love, happiness and freedom from pain and fear.
And so, going with that hard sell, we soon find it in our hands, attempting to hold it forever, allowing it to make everything right in our lives.
But, no matter how hard we try to hang on, it dissolves in the midst of our beings. We try to grasp and chase, but it is gone. We torture ourselves by asking questions like “What could I have done to make it last?”
That’s a difficult answer to hear, let alone, accept.
Yet, accept we must. It’s the bedrock of the Twelve Steps:
Step number one…
We admitted we were powerless over our addiction/compulsion – that our lives had become unmanageable.
Step number two…
We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
Step number three…
We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
Step number eleven…
We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
Step number twelve…
Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
So, yes, Psalm 118:8-9 is in full effect…
“It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.”
No, God is not cotton candy. Or, more specifically…
“God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? Or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good.” Numbers 23:19
We are not to trust anything manmade. And, let’s face it, our addictions are manmade: they are faulty, imperfect human interpretations of what God should be to us. We craft them for ourselves because we operate under the delusion that they work.
Again, what happened as the raccoon tried to wash his cotton candy?
“What profiteth the graven image that the maker thereof hath graven it; the molten image, and a teacher of lies, that the maker of his work trusteth therein, to make dumb idols? Woe unto him that saith to the wood, Awake; to the dumb stone, Arise, it shall teach! Behold, it is laid over with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in the midst of it.” Habakkuk 2:18-19
Repeatedly, through failure after failure, we see how our trusted answers did not come through. There were never meant to do so.
“For the LORD will be your confidence, And will keep your foot from being caught.” Proverbs 3:26
He is not a man that He should lie…
And He is not cotton candy, that He should disappear.
Let’s, therefore, learn from the raccoon- and face the reality of our own cotton candy, whatever it may be.