Today, I read Proverbs 20:17, “Food gained by fraud tastes sweet to a man, but he ends up with a mouth full of gravel.” Part of me wondered what the last part of that verse was supposed to refer to, while the other part of me came up with several possibilities. First I considered that the guilt and shame of the fraud would not allow the eater to enjoy his ill-gotten meal. On my contemplative romp through this verse, I considered my own diseased life and self-serving nature. Then it occurred to me that the kind of food one would go after by fraudulent means might be the kind of food that a compulsive overeater would seek, and that food would ultimately lead to a deterioration of the dentistry into rubble, or “a mouth full of gravel.” Ultimately I decided that, while the first guess was most likely the intent of the God-inspired pen, there was a certain truth to one last possibility: that the sweet-tasting food that man is willing to violate conscience to obtain will inevitably end him in the grave, with “a mouth full of gravel.”

I am grateful to have discovered a power great enough to rescue me from the repeated butt-kicking food was giving me, and the slow suicide by food-bullets I was committing as a result. I am grateful for the pain that stepping through a moral inventory was, and the resulting commitment not to allow my defects to harm anyone else. I am grateful for the opportunity to live amends, first to myself, and also to the others my life has touched, and I celebrate that my life touches those people, and that I do matter, in spite of what my diseased mind tries to tell me. I am grateful for the opportunity to share with a few special people, who tolerate my ramblings in support of a gratefully recovering compulsive overeater who finds catharsis in writing. I am powerless over food, and I am grateful for a Higher Power high and powerful enough to come pick me up out of my low, powerless place.

At a meeting tonight in which we discussed “humility” and Step Seven, I decided that voluntary humility (such as through acceptance of powerlessness, submission, and service) prevents our involuntary humiliation (by our circumstances, our misbehavior, or God Himself). Since I am a control-freak hoping that defects will be turned into assets, I can even see where this allows me more control. By practicing humility voluntarily, I keep myself from needing an object lesson in humility. If I take the lowly spot at the table, someone may invite me forward. But if I exalt myself, there’s nowhere for HP to send me but down – no motion but demotion. We only get taken a notch down when we inappropriately notch ourselves up where we don’t belong. Humility’s “appropriate smallness” means I am worth something, not because of what I did, but because of whose I am. That worth makes me highly valuable, silences my devaluing self-talk that keeps me sick, and crushes the self-pity that keeps me on the couch. Who am I to argue with the Creator or criticize what He has made pure?

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