Bi-polar, Manic, Addict…World’s Most Interesting Preacher

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Some people love drugs. Others allow alcohol to replace the blood in their veins. Sex is surely toward the top of the list of things that people will do almost anything to engage in. People can become addicted to just about anything and, like most addicts, I wasn’t aware I had become one until I was desperately and carelessly chasing my high. I had become addicted, not to chemicals or lust-filled activities, but to being interesting. Having people, family members or strangers, love me was my cocaine on the counter, my Vodka hidden in the freezer. And I would do just about anything that would make me stand out, appear unique, so the faceless crowds would clap for me and I could get drunk on their adoration.

All addictions are tragedy onramps to almost certain disaster. My addiction to being interesting drew blood from my already dehydrated spirit and left me hopelessly bored with myself. The lower I viewed myself, the more I looked for other people to tell me I was great and interesting. I got so high off people’s response to my clever life. Being able to tell a good story was my drug, and it barely fed a part of me that was constantly starving. So I was always looking for the next thing that might set me apart from everyone else.

I suppose many people enjoy offering a punch line or sharing a story, but I recklessly chased dangerous moments so that I could always have the best story in the room. I moved about the world with actions that screamed “I NEED ALL OF YOU TO LOVE ME, please Lord let them love me”. I did this without ever considering the damage I was creating, the people I was hurting, the wife and child I was ignoring. I put my life at risk, my family’s future at risk, I abandoned whatever wisdom had ever been offered to me, and made destructive decisions, simply so I would have another anecdote.

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The highest priority in my life was this desire and this was a huge problem. My life was completely based around what I thought others wanted or needed me to be. This lead me to forfeit any life that I may have wanted for myself. I was living solely for them, for some unidentified group of people that I had foolishly given myself to and asked if they could give me back an identity. When I thought people might want reckless, I’d run toward a moving train and jump off the tracks right before impact, literally. When I thought they wanted adventure, I convinced my wife to sell our house, quit our wonderful jobs and drive around the country with me while I attempted to be a stand-up comedian. Occasionally life effortlessly handed me amazing moments, but I would take those experiences and exploit them, twist the beauty out of them so I could billboard some part of me that I wanted people to fall in love with.

I did this for decades, and I am trying to set aside my destructive need of receiving praise from others. It’s hard to genuinely give that up and believe that I have value and worth regardless of the arbitrary opinion of others. I have learned that unless I can set aside my desire for valueless validation, I will never truly know what I like, who I am, what I enjoy, and what brings me peace. I need to learn to be me, whether or not it makes me interesting to others. Even as I write these words I am worried about if they are good enough, if anyone will be compelled by them. How great it would be to be free from considering your thought of me while trying to move beyond my struggle.

One of the hardest parts of God for me to wrap my brain and heart around, is that He loves me just because. Not because of how great I am at telling stories, or how much I have done, or how interesting I am able to appear, but just because He is a father that adores His kids. I struggle to comprehend where His love for all of us comes from. Part of the joy we feel in God’s embrace is that we don’t need to understand it. We need only to know that it is there, and let the reality of this love be the constant reminder that we are worth loving. No matter how other people view us, no matter how well a blog post is received or rejected, God sees us, knows us and adores us. To me, that is divinely interesting.

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20 Comments

  1. Jen Jackson on January 21, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    Your transparency and honesty is refreshing.

  2. Val Roark on January 21, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    Being addicted to the approval of others is dangerous and leads to bad decisions. The damage done can lead to depression or anxiety and keeps a persons from being who they were made to be. Jesus came to set us FREE! Thanks for sharing this!

  3. Sue Lincoln on January 22, 2016 at 9:18 am

    For those of us who struggle with the need to be liked or not have anyone disappointed in us is exhausting. Those moments of pure peace when we realize that only thing that matters is how God feels for us and it never changes. Thank you for your openness and reminder that He is the only one that matters.

  4. Beth Turnham on January 22, 2016 at 9:37 am

    It takes a lot of courage to cast your demons out there for all to see! You remind me so much of my own son and I find him to be “refreshingly” straight forward, as I do you. Thank you for stepping up and be our pastor and leader in Jesus Christ!

  5. Brandy Bliss on January 22, 2016 at 9:48 am

    We love you Buzzy! This passage came to mind after reading your blog.
    NKJV
    Proverbs 56:11
    In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?

  6. Brandy Bliss on January 22, 2016 at 9:49 am

    OOOPS I meant Psalms 56:11

  7. Kathy Lohmann on January 22, 2016 at 10:19 am

    When “people” have failed me, God has always been there with all the love and validation I need. Once I realized that, no depression or anxiety has plagued me. Thank you for your honesty and inspiration.

  8. Kathleen Robledo on January 22, 2016 at 10:20 am

    Thank you for your honesty. We are all so flawed but I know it gives me peace each day if I remind myself just how much God loves me even with my flaws, and His opinion is the only one that matters.

    • Marty on January 22, 2016 at 11:39 am

      I admire your honesty. I think you tell the truth like no one else. I hesitate in giving you praise, however, I will. You have written Poetry, clarity, truth, growth, healing and hope to those who continue to walk in dispare.

  9. Oki on January 22, 2016 at 10:41 am

    LOVE THIS Bro, keep writing and pouring your heart out. God is doing great things.

  10. Brett on January 22, 2016 at 12:06 pm

    What a powerful testimony… thank you for sharing with such transparency. And what a great example for all of us – from a pastor, no less – that we find freedom and life when we allow others to share in our pain and struggle. May YOU be encouraged as you continue to share your experience, strength, and hope with us!

  11. Vicki Butler on January 22, 2016 at 12:36 pm

    Thanks for reminding me of God’s unconditional love for all of us. How would I exist without that? I’m not sure. He has been with me through six years of cancer and helped me survive. I have always been one to need approval of others too. However, so much falls away when one is faced with death. So much that used to matter, simply does not have value now. The Holy Spirit, God incarnate, the words of Jesus Christ through the Bible sustain me. He speaks to me through the kindness of friends and family, through words in a sermon, through a passage in the Bible, through clouds in the sky or a beautiful sunset, and through every sweet breath I take. He comforts me daily in so many ways. He gives me inspiration to continue. God is my energy, he is my strength and my fortress. He is my ALL. And he is there for everyone of us if we just reach down deep inside and find him. You have done that. Hang on to him. He will never desert you. “Lo I am with you always.”

  12. Melinda Turansky on January 22, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    This is brilliant, and I’m not saying that to make you feel loved. It truly is brilliant. You first of all have a gift of writing. Secondly, you have a beautiful way with your words and describing yourself. And thirdly, the amazing grace of God in your life is touching. I love this story and have similar circumstances. Praying for you.

  13. Gary VanCouvering on January 22, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    Thank you, Buzzy! Your wife is a patient woman! I thank God that He let you see the Light! I pray that you are able to look back and see His guiding hand!

  14. Michael Paul on January 22, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    Dear Buzzmeister,
    We never got as closely acquainted as I would have liked back “in the day” but I always found you interesting. Your movement from where you were to where you are is new to me, and resonates with my own story. We should hook up in cyberspace (as time allows), I’d like to discuss these issues privately with you, if you have the time, and you’re willing. There’s a lot we have in common – the Lord, comedy, a pathological need for approbation/approval – and so on.
    All Best to you Brother!
    – Michael Paul (the old guy always wearing a hat)

  15. Timothy on January 22, 2016 at 5:55 pm

    Amen! You can be still and still be interesting to God! Thanks for blessing us with this truth.

  16. BJ Whitten on January 23, 2016 at 10:29 am

    Wow, Pasty Buzzy thank you for your candor. As I was reading this I was reminded of my own struggles with the approval and even affection from others. Your words are like a breath of fresh air it’s even more poignant as you’re a pastor.Thank you for your openness, your honesty and your love for God’s people.

  17. Chrissi McNaughton on January 24, 2016 at 11:29 am

    To be truly loved by our awesome God is the best gift we can ultimately receive., though why we seek the praise of others is simply mind boggling! To have a Pastor who shares in our earthly needs yet guides us to know we are truly loved by our heavenly Father is a gift in itself!! Thanks for sharing and guiding us, Pastor Buzzy!!

  18. Kellie welty on January 25, 2016 at 12:32 am

    One word-excellent!

  19. Bridgett King on January 26, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    Your not alone we are all looking for our Lord’s attention and love. Thank you for your allter call to confess sin and your bold honnesty. You are a blessing to your church.

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