Real Marriage: the truth about sex, friendship & life togetherMark and Grace Driscoll
(c) 2012 by On Mission, LLC
ISBN 978-1-4041-8352-0 (ie)
I had multiple stress-related symptoms--heartburn, headaches, nervous eye twitch, aggressive driving, constant low-level anger, high blood pressure, and self-medicating with foods and drinks packed with fat, sugar, and simple carbohydrates, along with caffeine.
Perhaps a few months after things had reached this level, a godly friend in the church, named Jon, scheduled a meeting with me. God had laid it on his heart to speak some wisdom into my life. He did so with great humility, and in that meeting he gave me some insights that were life changing. [emphasis added]
Jon had been taking notes on how he organized his life, things he had learned, and what he felt the Holy Spirit had asked him to tell me. His wisdom was a priceless gift. He called it "Reverse Engineering." The big idea is to anticipate life forward and live it backward. ... For my health I found a doctor named John who was a naturopath and ordained pastor and started doing what he told me to do, which has changed my life.
... Put my head down, worked seven days a week. I preached, gosh, 48 or 50 Sundays a year, five or six times a Sunday, an hour or more per sermon. And I traveled to speak, to make ends meet, because I was still supplementing my income. I didn't even have a full-time assistant until we hit 6,000. And by then my wife and I had five kids.
It was go, go, go, and at some point my body just couldn't go anymore. I once had an old car and the ignition would get stuck. You'd have to literally pop the hood and disconnect the battery to make it stop. I was like that car. I couldn't shut down. I couldn't sleep. I'd fall asleep for an hour, wake up, and then be up all night. I'd be exhausted but unable to sleep. I had adrenal fatigue.
What finally happened?
First I went to a conventional doctor, who told me I needed blood pressure meds, heartburn medicine, sleep medicine, anxiety medicine. I'm like, Man, I'm in my 30s. That's a lot of medicine! [emphasis original] So I went and found a naturopathic doctor, who said, "You need to quit your job and find a different vocation."
I said, "Well, Jesus said to do this, so that's not really an option." So I found another naturopathic doctor. He gave me supplements, vitamins, minerals, IV treatments for adrenal support, and custom tailored vitamins. He put me on a regimen for wellness and recovery. His approach was to naturally rebuild the body, to not just treat the symptoms. He told me, "You've got to work really hard to change your lifestyle and your organization, everything."
And what did this start to look like?
February 5, 2008
Pastor Mark Driscoll
Part 4 Q&A
I'll tell you what this looks like for me. My doctor is trained in naturopath and traditional medicine in Eastern and Western. He loves Jesus. I mean I go in for IV treatments. Just for additional vitamins and minerals and supplements I take 25 vitamins a day. [emphasis added] We do blood work. I work out. I read my Bible. I pray. I sleep. I, you know, drink so many ounces of water a day. Get time with my wife and kids. Proper physical [and] emotional affection from my family. Time with my friends. Silence and solitude. My whole life is integrated and if the body's off the mind is effected, if the mind is off the soul is effected. Everything works together and so for me it's having an integrated approach to my walk with God.
A lot of the stories Driscoll recounted about his roller coaster health suggests he may have risked (or actually arrived at) caffeine dependency. Even if we were to bracket off Mark Driscoll's accounts of spiritual attacks altogether his caffeine use, sleep deprivation, and other health problems might suggest he was overdue for a full medical and possibly a psychological evaluation for some time. While Driscoll's formal profession of the importance of viewing life as an integrated whole is commendable the majority of testimony Driscoll gave about himself is that he's never really been assessed by a professional psychologist or gotten much by way of counseling. This introduces the somewhat unnerving possibility that Driscoll spent nearly twenty years in ministry doing his thing without ever once having been on the receiving end of the kind of counsel he's given to others or the kind of counsel he at one point was instructing Mars Hill pastors to use in dealing with members and attenders of Mars Hill Church.
And ironically, it would seem after feeling it would be weird to take a lot of doctor prescribed medications in his 30s as he recounts his 2007 thinking in a 2014 interview, turns out that by early 2008 he was sharing with Mars Hill leaders he was taking twenty-five vitamins a day. It's as though so long as the door to a jaw-dropping regime of pills and shots was prefixed with "naturopath" instead of conventional doctor Mark Driscoll was okay with it.