Destination Addiction

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Have you ever heard the above term that I am using for the title of this article? I did not remember hearing it before I read it last week. Our world is filled with all sorts of addictions: drug, alcohol, gambling, pornography, and food to name a few. “Destination addiction” appeared in this quote from Dr. Robert Holden, a British psychologist who wrote: “Beware of destination addiction—a preoccupation with the idea that happiness is in the next place, the next job and with the next partner. Until you give up the idea that happiness is somewhere else, it will never be where you are.”

The definition of the term is provided in the explanation given in the quotation. I believe the statement to be accurate and thoroughly Biblical. In Scripture, it is worded: “I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.” (Philippians 4:11-12)

These words from the Apostle Paul are remarkable when we recall the setting in which he wrote them – a jail cell in Rome. Verse 13 is found in the context of this understanding and assures us that with the strength of Christ all things can be done, but note Paul is not describing the accomplishing of superhuman feats of strength. Instead, he is assuring the Christians at Philippi they could experience inner joy regardless of external circumstances.

Unfortunately, mankind continues to seek happiness and satisfaction in the physical. Externals like wealth, possessions, power, and prestige are presented as the vehicles required to transport one to a state of bliss. Dissatisfaction with the old and familiar is encouraged. The new and improved is promoted as the cure for the doldrums of despair.

Sadly, this quest is like the way animals might be deceived into chasing a treat that forever remains just out of their grasp. They never stop and take inventory of all they have and could enjoy if they would simply cease from their constant longing for what they do not have. Consequently, commitment is discarded, and the disrepair of marriage, family, and home give ample proof of the way people are unwilling to be happy where they are and with what they have.

Faithfulness to God, His Word, and His Church is likewise abandoned by those who assert mankind is in constant forward motion, and the truths of bygone eras are no longer relevant. Chasing the elusive mirage of happiness and contentment in something newer never succeeds.

Instead, why is it outrageous to merely enjoy what we now have? It is likely this intention that caused our Savior to pray to the Heavenly Father: “ Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11). Jesus makes no request for the retirement years of these men, but He simply requests that enough be given to enable them to “live one day at a time.” Later, in the same chapter, He points to birds and flowers and urges remembrance that the One who cares for these is the same that cares for us. Do not spend your entire life looking for happiness. Find it in serving the Lord and gratefully acknowledging all He gives you to enjoy. “Destination addiction” is a malady to be avoided in the spiritual and physical areas of life and replaced by the Lord’s joy!