Sex, Golf, And Peanut Butter . . . (Part One)

Everything Matt did, people said, he did slowly. “Matt even hurries slow,” his father stated, characterizing his son’s modus operandi. But on this early Texas evening, Matt was moving slower than usual. Although the autumn temperature was startlingly pleasant, Matt was sweating. Not just sweating a little, but sweating bullets. Although he wondered early on why he couldn’t keep his shirt dry in the air-conditioned comfort of the room – you know, like the rest of the guys there. But that thought was long gone by the time he slowly, painfully stood.

“Hi,” he said. “My name is Matt. And I am addicted to liquid morphine.” There. He had finally said it. Out loud. For the first time. And although Matt had been in treatment since the day before, this was the moment he dreaded most. His first “meeting.” Those from the “anonymous” world know exactly what a meeting is, what it looks like, feels like, smells like, tastes like. But he had never characterized himself as an addict – just a pretty normal 20-year old who had dabbled in some extra-curricular activities that happened to be both illegal and deadly. Even so, as he had prepared to go to rehab, he had imagined a dark, dank basement filled with cast-offs. The kind that you wouldn’t invite into your home. The kind that made you uncomfortable when you passed them on the street. The kind that didn’t bathe often; if at all.

But it wasn’t the hot, choking, smoke-filled environs he had imagined. He was surrounded by more than a dozen other guys who looked, felt, acted, and had once sweated, just like him. The simple act of forming the words and almost coughing them out however, provided somewhat a sense of relief for Matt. The mere admission of his addiction, and his new accountability to this group of alcoholics and drug addicts, was going to be the most uncomfortable blessing of his life.

Isn’t everyone addicted to something?

OK, I’ll be the first to stand in this meeting.

“Hi, my name is Kyle. And I’m addicted to sex, golf, and peanut butter.” I know I feel better. 🙂

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Don’t judge me.

No, I don’t have any addictions that are worthy of, or covered by those types of meetings. But yes, I am horribly flawed. As often as possible, I look to my wife for the physical intimacy. Whenever there is time (or I make time) there is always room for at least nine holes. And even when I’m swearing off sugar, the maga-supersized-jumbo virtual barrel of peanut butter in the pantry incessantly calls my name. But like you, there are parts of my life (clearly no longer hidden!) of my life that I just can’t seem to move on past. Can’t get enough. Can’t stop. Don’t really want to.

For the sake of this conversation, let’s just assume that we’re all addicted to Jesus. Put the holier-than-thou self-accolades aside, and focus on what we are on the outside. Because truthfully, isn’t that a reflection of what is on the inside??

So, now that I’ve admitted my self-indulgent behaviors, I absolutely DARE YOU to share your own in the comment box below.

We’ll see who has the wherewithal to sweat through their shirt and put it out there. Because if you want to get down to where the rubber meets the road, many if not most of us are too arrogant and proud to admit the behaviors we have that might have taken the sheen off both our egos and our marriages.

OH NO HE DIDN’T!!!

Oh, yes . . . he did.

And it’s not an arrow-shooting, finger-pointing, nanny-nanny-boo-boo kind of general accusation, but more of a recognition – a shedding of light.

In a recent Realtime poll of married women, they stated that one of the things they feel would benefit their marriages more than anything would be that at a minimum, their husbands would recognize the behaviors they project – that make them (the wives) feel less important than . . . (fill in the blank).

golf-widow

Occasionally I choose to cross-reference specific scripture with Eugene Peterson’s The Message just to see if there is perhaps a different way of seeing, or saying something about the topic written. Oh, and this one is good.

“It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.”  — Luke 12:34

Most translations of The Bible provide a similar text – “Wherever your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

But what I can’t get out of my mind is the first and last parts of Peterson’s translation. It’s obvious,” and end up being.”

We’ll follow up with the conclusion of this blockbuster later in the week. And I’d encourage you to think through those two “phrases” from Peterson’s translation. What do they say to you? About you?

But for now, let’s just begin the process of getting it out there. 

And don’t worry – nobody is going to suggest that any of us give up the things in life we enjoy – at least not all of them.

But in the meantime, if you can’t seem to identify the simple addictions in your life, you might – well – ask your wife?

I double-dog dare ya’. 

Well, what ARE they? Comment box is below 🙂

(CREDITS: To Nina Roesner www.ninaroesner.com for implied permission to issue dares)

And, as always . . .

FINISH WELL!

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About Kyle Hargrove

There's really not much that's all that special about me . . . It was probably about a decade ago when I realized that "in all its glory." At about that time some of life's recent experiences taught me that regardless of who or what anyone ELSE is, and regardless of how much I may have built MYSELF up, I'm just one life circumstance from being just like anyone else. Although my pride took a ding in the process, it was ultimately a positive and humbling experience that gave my life a different direction altogether. I'm a pretty ordinary husband and father . . . Of course, ordinary comes in lots of shapes and colors. My wife Debbi and I have been married since 2000, and both of us had been previously married. She is a school administrator and has a work ethic that has been passed down generationally - usually leaves home in the dark, and for at least half the year, comes home in the dark too. We're praying that as our kids get through college, she can retire and fulfill some of her most intimate dreams. Debbi and I have five children (Adam, Cameron, Callye, Caleb, and Brandon), one grandson (William), one son-in-law (J.R.), somewhere around five "adopted kids," (not officially but in our hearts), and four dogs (Symon, Sombra, Sophie, and Duke). I often say that I love my kids and love my dogs, but there have been days that I liked my dogs more than my kids. That is of course, suggested in jest . . . mostly :) One of our sons has completed college, and the other four kids are still finding their way through that maze. We love Auburn University (Debbi's alma mater), and Texas A&M University (doesn't everyone?) It took a long time for me to understand my job . . . Professionally, I've had the opportunity to experience some fairly diverse "job titles." I came up as a burgeoning sports journalist, switched to church staff ministry, returned to school to earn two masters degrees, entered the world of private practice, experienced the world of corporate training, founded a Christ-centered residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation center, and enjoyed some more private practice. Oh, on top of that, I have enjoyed the thrill of becoming a teaching chef in my spare time. All of that took a lot of learning, understanding, and energy. But in 2003 through the benefit of Fellowship of the Sword, a ministry out of Fort Worth, Texas, God showed me what my real job was, and for the first time ever, I really, really "got it." He showed me that my real purpose in this life was to first serve Him, and in the outflow of that, to serve my wife, serve my children, and serve anyone else, anywhere else, who exhibited any need, whatsoever. For a very egocentric person, learning to serve is initially kind of hard. But as the blessings start to roll in, it becomes a joyous lifestyle. It's not always easy. I'm not always successful (I'm still kind of selfish). But it is one of the highest privileges I enjoy - the calling from God - to serve people - just like He did. If we're going to develop the character of Jesus, we had better get serving - the sooner the better. Cooking, singing, golfing, reading, speaking, teaching, and writing . . . Those are a few of my favorite pastimes outside of "work." I try to not let those things define who I am, but sometimes the golf thing gets in the way a little bit. And I'm really not that good. But I value my recreation and free time. I love being around people, and meet very few "strangers," but need "me time" too. I prefer outdoors to indoors, cool weather to hot weather, mountains to the beach, and being active to sitting still. I have traveled the world, and want to find new places, and visit the previous ones again. You could say I was born with a sense of wanderlust. I want to encourage you . . . This blog may have themes but the desire to write it, and the commitment to maintain it is about one thing more than any other. If through the blog, you can be encouraged, recharged, reminded, uplifted, motivated, or if you can just relate to something you read, I will sleep well and know that God has used something - as benign as it may seem on the surface, to help you move forward in understanding who you are, and what your purpose ultimately is. Life was intended to be dynamic - not static. One of my good friends Ricky Bobby once said, "If you ain't first, you're last." Although there may be some detractors to the actual truth (or benefit) of that statement, don't you want to live your life progressing? I don't want to sit around and wish I was getting better at what I do, or who I am. I was born to pursue - to improve - to invent - to move forward. When it's all said and done, I'd like to know that I ran after God, rather than for Him to have had to run after me. We'll all be challenged . . . Writing is sometimes as much about me as it is about you. My "bag of tricks" comes as much from my own experiences as it does anything I've learned from a textbook. I don't know about you (actually I do but certainly can't speak for you), but the things I have learned in this life have typically come from challenging circumstances, mistakes I've chosen to make, mistakes I've unintentionally made, places I shouldn't have been, and a myriad of other mostly-painful experiences. I think we're a lot alike. And I think we're about to find out. As always my friends . . . FINISH WELL!

Posted on May 19, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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