A dog that returns to its vomit is like a fool who reverts to his folly - Proverbs 26:11 ISV
I get to meet a number of interesting clients in my occupation. Just last week I met a client who likes to hunt. I asked them what was his favorite type of animal to hunt and he said rabbits. I, being a total novice in these types of things, ask how do you hunt rabbits. He explained that he hunts with beagles and he lets them loose near areas that the rabbits like to hide, such as thickets. Once he lets the beagles loose and they chase the rabbits out, you need to be strategic in where you position yourself so that you will be able to get a clear shot. Since rabbits run in a circle when chased, they invariably will run back to the area that they consider their safe haven. My client stated that once you observe their circling patterns a few times, you are able to have a pretty good idea of where they're going, therefore you are able to position yourself to get a kill shot.
The habits of the rabbit in regard to it's propensity of circling back to it's safe haven when it feels threatened is one that I, along with the majority of men, can identify with. The question that I have, is what's our safe haven? An alarming number of men will use a number of unhealthy things as their safe haven. Some of the more popular "safe" havens that we run to at the first sign of trouble or stress include pornography, sexual conquests/adultery, chasing job promotions, drug and alcohol abuse. All of these things on the surface makes us feel good for a short period of time. Unfortunately, these safe havens do not provide lasting protection.
Would a dog return to it's vomit? To even consider this sounds preposterous, but it's something that an alarming number of us do on a consistent basis. We sin and feel bad about the results of it, but return to our old habits, forgetting about the consequences of our actions and succumbing to the short term 'feel good" effects of our destructive habits. How do we break the self destructive habit of circling back to our negative safe havens and being addicted to our own ways? The only solution is a strong relationship with the Father and our Savior Jesus Christ. Only the redemptive and restorative power of God can break the vicious self destructive behavior. Establishing a strong, lasting relationship with our Savior begins with association with like minded men that have a foundation with Christ. This group will be able to share best practices and more importantly, serve as accountability partners for you as you begin down the path of a life changing relationship with Christ. They can help you as you start to establish the right safe haven for you to return to in times of stress and trouble. Today ask God to lead you to others that will guide you in the direction to establish a positive safe haven in times of trouble.
Ken Sadler is a leader of Men's Ministry at a megachurch and has a heart and passion for helping men become the best they can be.