“It’s too late, baby it’s too late…” Carole King was wrong. It’s not too late. Except maybe for the particular relationship she was singing about.
At a community meal for the homeless and needy, two homeless guys got into an argument. One of them said “you’re a drunk and you’ll always be a drunk.” This was said under fit of temper; it’s not necessarily true. It’s not too late to break bad habits, if you really try to make it.
It wasn’t too late for some of the people I’ve known in the homeless community who had substance abuse problems. One such person told me he went through the 12 Steps program. He’s been working, acting more responsibly, is getting on well with family and friends and has a good attitude on life. Another example is a guy who told me that he took into account that he was the source of his problem, and, in his words, moved “forward.” He also told me “they don’t like that.” I’m not sure to whom he was referring – Penndel Mental Health Center or some entity of Bucks County, PA… It could be any institution that writes off problems as being a disease and blames everything, everybody other than the person with the problem.
I didn’t pursue an opportunity to become a drug counselor at a methadone clinic years ago for that reason. I worked part time at the out patient clinic as a “patient monitor” shortly after I started college, where my job was to check in the “clients”, send them to the nurse to get their orange juice, methadone cocktail and to their various appointments with counselors, nurses and doctors. After work, a counselor sat down at the bar next door with me and went over some materials, and talked about being a counselor. In the material he showed me, the author knocked the Christian view that we are sinners. In so many words, it said that to say that hurts our self esteem.
One of the clients at the methadone clinic told the other patient monitor and I that he believes he’ll never overcome his drug habit, and that the people running the clinics don’t really help him. He lamented that he expected his life to be a revolving door between treatment and the streets.
Bucks County and it’s Mental Health Industry writes the homeless off as it being too late baby – too late for them to become a productive member of society. Someone who works for the industry offered me needed housing if I was willing to get on disability by agreeing to be labeled as someone who was so messed up mentally that I could no longer work. As I told the mental health hustler, that would be fraud.
For sure, I had problems, but it was not too late to be restored to normalcy. My anxiety and depression were largely as result of the gap between being what God wants me to be and my own sinful nature. The local Salvation Army shoved me off to the Penndel Mental Health Center, which made me worse! The Paxil prescribed made my hands shake and made my anxiety worse. Not realizing the severity of the withdrawal symptoms, I stopped taking the drug immediately and ended up in ER! I did some research and found that very dark chocolate has the same calming, soothing ingredient found in Paxil but without the horrible side effects, and offered other benefits such as an anti-inflammation.
By contrast to the nattering nabobs of negativism, Christian faith helped me, as it has others, overcome our character flaws. This is why, in 1970, as found in his book Competent to Counsel, pastor and counselor Jay E Adams started challenging the church’s relegating it’s mission of changing people to secular, unbiblical psychology.
But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. – Isaiah 40:31