“It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations
if you live near him.”
J. R. R. Tolkien – The Hobbit
An addiction sort of resembles a dragon. At least to me. Dragons are not real, of course, but let’s pretend they are for a few moments, and you will soon get the connection.
Your Dragon’s Appeal
In the beginning, in infancy, most animals appear as great pets. Dragons are like that too. Young dragons are not that much trouble, not that much trouble at all; at first. They are easily kept hidden away and taken out when you want to play. They are so small you barely notice. They understand your needs. A newly acquired dragon is there for you. It heeds your every call. Controllability is a major advantage of owning a young dragon. You can take it out and put it away at the most convenient of times. A dragon, when first acquired, is like most infant animals: they’re cute.
My step-dad once acquired a cute puppy that grew into a huge mammoth beast. The half German Shephard-Doberman once ripped his custom van to shreds after only leaving the dog alone in his vehicle for fifteen minutes. The dog did $6,000 worth of damage to
his beloved vehicle.
Your Dragon’s Benefits
A young dragon provides many benefits. They’re mythical, or so it seems, taking you to fantasies never imagined. A dragon takes you on exciting voyages. Exciting, deep, dark, exotic places await you – places you didn’t know existed. Your young dragon offers unconditional acceptance, too, at least in the beginning. And this little fellow will take you just about anywhere you want to go, when you want to go, and whenever you want to go for as long as you want to stay.
Your Dragon’s Acceptance
Acceptance is a young dragon’s greatest virtue. Your dragon accepts you just the way you are. There are no conditions. There are no responsibilities. You may present yourself any way you like. Whether in a bad mood and a bit grumpy, you’re accepted. Are you happy and excited? Perfect! There’s no nagging, no fault finding, no conditions. Yes, you can just be you. In the beginning, that is.
Your Dragon’s No-hassle Guarantee
There are zero entanglements! None of the problems that plague relationships present themselves in the beginning. No fuss, no mess, no problem – whatever you want. Your only responsibility is to you and your young dragon. Once you gain access to the dragon’s world, it’s free sailing from there! No arguments – none of that “my needs, your needs” stuff. No “my time your time” – none of that. No! It’s a no-hassle relationship! No arguments! No in-laws! No family! No problems! It’s up to you. Total control! It appears perfect in every way. In the beginning, that is.
Your Dragon – All About You
And why not? It’s all about you. Your dragon can thrill you with its magical powers beyond your wildest expectations. The cost of such a relationship, in the beginning, is minimal.
There isn’t a lot of money to lay out. There is no cost commitment. There is no spending on anything or anyone except yourself. But, perhaps best of all, there are zero relational struggles and hassles. At least, in the beginning.
Also, you can treat your dragon in any manner you wish. Speak kindly. Speak harshly. Use the dragon. Abuse the dragon. Accuse the dragon. Neglect the dragon. Not a problem. In the beginning, your dragon is just happy to spend time, any time, with you. You are special. At least, in the beginning.
The Perfect Companion?
A small dragon is a perfect companion. It introduces you to other wonderful companions. Your new dragon-friends enjoy your company. These new friends appear the most beautiful compliant people you’ve ever met. And here’s the thing – they find you beautiful in every way. In fact, they love you, want you, and accept you just the way you are. Their only purpose is to serve and love you. Your dragon’s mission’s statement is:
“To Serve You, To Love You – That is All I Do.”
It gives, expecting nothing in return; at least in the beginning. It’s almost too good to be true. Yes, a young dragon seems perfect in every way. It’s a wonder to behold. Dragons are quite the rage these days. It seems everybody has one, two, or three of them. Then, however, they start to grow. That’s when trouble starts. That’s when the dragon begins exacting a price for its services. And, you will pay.
The Dragon’s Bite
When your dragon bites deep, that’s when your DRAGON becomes your ADDICTION growing into an eight-story building. The Dragon seems satisfying, so fulfilling, so promising, but oh, so deadly.
It knows your every weakness. The Beast understands when best to tempt and lure you away from goodness, happiness, and wholeness. This Leviathan marks out a path of exciting adventure. Yet, the Addiction Dragon, your Dragon, causes much painful and tearful destruction.
Unleashing yourself from the Dragon requires a redirection of worship. Through new worship comes transformation and eventual loss of desire for the Dragon. Worship of something other than your desire. Worship of other than yourself. Worship of something other than your addiction. Addiction – to me is really about worship.
How many fall before alters of opioids, alcohol, gambling, sex, shopping, internet, video game, or food addictions? Isn’t addiction just about something one worships more than family, friends, and other life considerations? Isn’t it?
“I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice – the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Romans 12:1-2)
Just My Thoughts,
Edited excerpt taken from Boundaries – 5 Steps to Getting Your Life Back by Don Mingo.
Don was born in North Minneapolis, Minnesota. Having served twenty-two years in South Africa as missionaries with his wife Kathy, and eight years pastoring in the United States, he shares unique perspectives about life, family, relationships, and ministry.