My family was driving around San Diego tonight, and we were looking for a place to eat. I pulled out my handy Yelp! app. After reading descriptions to various restaurants aloud, we zeroed in on a sandwich place with lots of good ratings. And off we were.
Still in the car on our way there, I continued to read more of the menu aloud. It was then that I realized that the place served “special” brownies. I also noted that the leaf graphics on the menu looked a lot like marijuana leaves. And that the subs came in sizes named “nugs,” “pinners” and “blunts.” What was this place– a hippie place?!
When we got to the place, it was confirmed– the sign said “CHeBA Hut: ‘TOASTED’ Subs”– and the “Order Here” sign was on a giant blunt. The theme of this restaurant?: Marijuana.
Very surprised at first, and with some laughs, my family stood outside the restaurant, looking at the posted menu and through the window, at the gaudy, in-your-face “weed” theme.
Besides the shock value of the giant hanging blunts, the sandwiches smelled excellent even outside the door. It was 8:30 PM, we were starving, and the rest of my family trickled in.
Yet I found myself silently protesting going inside. Or, rather, I found the deepest part of my heart protesting stepping foot in the place. The tiny little core of my heart asked me: “Rosanna, will you regret this?”
“What would I regret?,” I asked my heart back. With a little more time to ponder, I came to the conclusion that I would regret supporting a place that promoted emptiness– that promoted what Pope John Paul II calls a “culture of death.”
Now, that “culture of death” term may sound a bit dramatic, but… (after sitting outside and hanging up on the phone with my boyfriend, who I was saying goodnight to while my family ate)… I still hesitated to even go into the restaurant… and remained outside thinking about my heart’s silent protest a bit more.
Yes, marijuana gives individuals a “high,” but what does that high consist of? Empty pleasure. That high is not an experience of anything genuinely meaningful; it is an experience of emptiness that merely feels good. And when you feel “good,” it’s not even like you’re being yourself and feeling good. Marijuana alters your mind; you have no capacity to really even think straight.
And while you’re in that altered state, instead of growing as a person and using the gifts that God has given you to make the world a better place… you’re letting your gifts go to waste… and dying inside. You’re not flourishing nor thriving as that individual that God made you. You’re just floundering and meandering in pleasure that really has no purpose.
During that time getting high, how many people could you have brought life to instead?
420, Pot, Mary Jane… No thank you. I’d very much rather be high on LIFE.
I’m sick of the empty promises that the world throws at me.
I want to be part of a revolution that helps people come to life! And what does that mean to me?
Being high on life means deriving pleasure from the things that God has ordained to give meaning to your life, such as via giving yourself to others– and through that, giving yourself to God. This includes performing corporal and spiritual works of mercy, to name a few.
Being high on life means gaining pleasure from being man or woman fully alive– from being the unique individual that God made you to be, changing the world in the way that He wants you to change it. No one else can fill your shoes.
Being high on life means building the Kingdom of God, and seeing others come to life because of God’s life and love.
Being high on life in Christ is a not an empty promise, but a covenantal promise that always delivers. Life in Christ never feels empty. For when you live in Christ and you give of yourself in His name, you find yourself coming to life in ways you had never imagined.
The conclusion of the night?
OK, maybe “CHeBA Hut” had amazing subs. (My family said it was pretty good.) But I’m glad that I listened to my heart and I didn’t set foot in the place. Why? Because I want nothing at all to do with the culture of death. Nothing.
I want to be alive. I want to help others to be alive.
It might sound corny, but nothing’s ever been more true and beautiful in my life thus far… nothing’s been more real… nothing’s delivered more… than that JOY which I have found in chasing Christ’s heart.
Christ promises me life, and He delivers.
My heart’s beating passionately. Heck YEAH I’m high! I’m high on life… my life in Christ!