Recovery Parable: The Man with the Raft

There is an old recovery story about a man desperately trying to get out of a jungle. Searching for an escape, he came to a raging river with apparently no way to get across. So he built a sturdy raft out of wood and vines, which was all that was available. He launched the makeshift craft into the white water and managed to push himself to the other side. While recovered his strength, he thought about the he effort he put into the raft. He decide he needed to bring it with him. He told himself that there might be other streams, ut maybe no materials to build a new raft. Consequently he pulled the heavy raft through the jungle, which slowed him down rather considerably. It was a great deal of effort but he was convinced he had to do it. He then met a traveler who observed that if he had let go of the raft, he would be out of the jungle, because there are always other solutions at each crossing (From Patrick Carnes’s 40 Day Focus).

My sexual acting out is a solution to one or many of my problems and/or perceived problems. And frankly it worked well enough for me to continue to do it again and again. For example, when I was in high school, I was scared to death to get drunk and have sex. My dream was to be a scholar athlete and to have a full ride to college using both my brains and my athletic ability. However, I knew that if I had sex, I would get a girl pregnant the first time…no doubt (though this later proved to be untrue with my wife). And I was afraid to get drunk because I was afraid what I would do if I were drunk. Mainly, I was afraid that I would have sex. So in preparation for a date, I would always look at pornography and masturbate before hand so as to drive my sex drive down. Most of the time, it worked, and I was only interested in the making out stage.

However, now I am married. I have also realized that I use pornography to cope with stress, anger, guilt, loneliness, frustration, exhaustion, excitement even…almost every thing frankly. It was convenient, and it didn’t take long at all or it only took as long as I’d like–or so I believed. However, that soon proved otherwise as I would look at pornography for hours while I was in college and in graduate school even though I only wanted to take a peek sometimes. So instead of learning for new ways to cope with my stress or whatever it may be, I always ran to my idol, worshiped, and returned. Now, I need to do the same with Jesus. However, it will prove to be more difficult to escape the trap of pornography. Simply I have been dealing with real life problems with the wrong solution. Now I know about Jesus…it is time for me to really re-experience Jesus.

I love this quote by Albert Einstein:

“The significant problems we face cannot be resolved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.”

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