To dissipate or aggregate – That is the question

Honestly, I’m tired and vaguely stressed by the balance of work and family today.  This is the internal playlist on endless loop right now.

Add on top of that the missing of one of those people lost to history after the complete trashing of a relationship, and we’ll say that this morning is rough.  Actually, lots of mornings are rough.  That’s one reason I decided several years ago to not swim against the waves anymore.

Today’s passage is Ephesians 5:18 – 21.  You can read it here. It’s a lot about our interaction with one another.  This is the passage that the Baptists of my youth pointed to as the basis for forbidding alcohol.  Of course, it only takes one semi-cognate look to know that that’s not what the passage is saying.  It says don’t get drunk because of the dissipation that occurs.

You should know (if you don’t already) that I love words.  They’re the building supplies with which ideas can be communicated between us.  They’re the ingredients that turn simple sustenance of communal survival into grand feasts of creativity and collaboration and philosophical negotiation.  So, when I came across the word “dissipation,” I had to dig a little deeper.  Dissipation (according to is defined as wasteful expenditure or consumption.

So, I rolled that around in my head for a bit.  Apparently, it’s not because alcohol is bad for us or is inherently evil or anything.  It is that, when we become drunken, we become irrevocably less.  I’ve been drunk a multitude of times, and I can attest to the fact that, although I’m not an abusive, abrasive, promiscuous, or reckless drunk, I’ve been much less than my sober self and I wasted that time spent in the drunken haze.

The passage then goes on to talk about how we SHOULD be acting toward one another.  You can read it for yourself, but again I’ll share my experience.  When I’ve acted toward another in the way described, I’ve been MORE than my baseline self.  I can feel my spirit stretch and fill up the corners of my being.  I can feel my soul shake off the dust of the daily grind and bask in the warmth and light of intended purpose.