A man fell into a septic tank. It was full of horrible smelly stuff. He was up to the bottom lip in the stuff!
Others saw him there and tried to help him out. He fought them off! “I am getting used to this,” he said, “just make sure that others do not cause too many ripples!!
This, of course, sounds ridiculous because we can see clearly what a crazy choice this man has made! I wonder whether we are always as clear about our own choices.
One who is addicted to alcohol, or some other chemical, and is so used to this way of life, resists attempts to help them.
One who keeps going back to pornography even though they know that it is not life giving. They may even rationalise this behaviour.
One who is addicted to unhealthy sexual practices and does nothing to change their behaviour.
A couple who have stopped communicating and their relationship is drifting apart but refuse to get help.
One who is unjust and unfair in their business and work practices and makes no attempt to change their behaviour.
One who feels beholden to others and looks for approval from them, even though what they are doing goes against their beliefs, and they do not have the courage to follow their conscience.
One whose behaviour is damaging the environment and goes into denial mode.
We can continue to mention so many other situations where it is possible to get so used to unhealthy or wrong behaviour that we just live with, and accept it as normal.
Unhealthy eating, sleeping, drinking, and other bad choices that we make, damage us and stifle our growth.
St. Paul, talking to the early Christian community, tells them that they have to leave non life-giving practices behind. They cannot just keep going back to their old bad ways.
We can trust that the grace of God can indeed help us to leave the past behind and move on. We can grow out of bad habits. No one else can do this for us, we need to be able to desire to cooperate with the grace of God.
Sometimes we also need help from others. There is an age-old practice of spiritual direction and pastoral counselling in our church community, that can often be of great help.
“Behold I make all things new,” says the Lord. “I have come to bring life and bring it to the fullest!”