I am tempted to oblivion. Not always, not incessantly, not even often, but tempted still. I have wanted to be overwhelmed with the pleasures of some sin so that I might be free from mental puzzles I cannot solve and free from the discomforts that exasperate me.
I splash ankle-deep in these waters from time to time, binge-watching tv or lost in a social media loop on my phone. Many years ago I waded into the waist-high water with underage drinking, lasciviousness, infidelity, and so on. In the midst of this episode I ended up at a small but vile party that included a giant burning cross. I was disturbed by the desecration of a symbol that I knew was sacred, and it deeply impressed upon me that there was a dread impossible to avoid except by extinction.
To surrender to the vices of oblivion (or don't all vices lead there?) is really to give in to hopelessness.
Then as now, the lure to drown myself in some sea of forgetfulness is as strong as my patience is weak. (I prefer the term patience rather than the archaic term longsuffering because I prefer to avoid the truth that patience means suffering.) Impatience is short-suffering, short because it can't hold fast hope. >>
The waiting is in vain. There's nothing that's worth enduring this. Better to be destroyed by this vicious pleasure than to withstand desire and to enjoy the nourishing fruit of virtue.
Diving into oblivion––utter forgetfulness––is seen as the coward's end, running away from one's problems and all that. But I think we should consider that it may also be an act of aggression, an attempt to overcome the enemy by overwhelming it and eventually destroying it. –if the enemy is the mind. –if the enemy is the conscience. –if the enemy is discomfort, frustration, pain, sense. -if the enemy is the self.
How can one overcome the enemy that is oneself, that is one's own self? It does not seem possible to obliterate the enemy without ending one's mind in oblivion or ending one's existence in death.
"Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us." Rom 8:37
"thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Cor 15:57
"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me." Gal 2:20
"...Christ in you, the hope of glory." Col 1:27