During my presentation yesterday I said, “Since the physical and mental parts of a compulsive overeater seem to be dead set against our health and well-being, the solution for us has to be spiritual.” Voices of Recovery confirmed that statement today in quoting the OA12&12 (p.2), “What all of us have in common is that our bodies and minds seem to send us signals about food which are quite different from those a normal eater receives.”

Proverbs 28:14 gives me yet another warning sign to help keep me on track. “Blessed is the man who always fears the LORD, but he who hardens his heart falls into trouble.” The big words in there for me are “always” and “hardens.” I have a healthy reverence for my Higher Power, but I have a tendency to slip into complacency or be distracted by cares, and slide past my fear of the Lord, into interrogation of Him. (Why me? Why not me? etc.) The hardening of my heart happens gradually too, when I neglect my spiritual exercise: reading Scripture, prayer, meditation, communion with God, my friend. The warning is clear enough: there is trouble ahead if I do not consistently practice my spiritual discipline, being careful to always revere the Lord. Should I allow myself to slip, I risk allowing my heart to harden.

Wow! Joshua 4 tells of God’s instruction to memorialize His drying up the Jordan River by the placement of twelve stones from the river’s bed onto dry land. Verse 24 explains why and goes nicely with my Proverb, “He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the LORD is powerful and so that you might always fear the LORD your God.” Taking a current-polished, smooth boulder off the bottom of a river and setting it where it would look completely alien compared to the jagged rocks around it would serve as quite a testament to whatever power put it there. Since I can relate to a sinking stone, I can look at this in a number of ways. First, I celebrate deliverance from the swirling torrents that used to overwhelm me, and the rescue onto dry, solid ground. Second, I can acknowledge that it was by hardening into a rocky state that caused me to sink in the first place. Third, I can look at this as an object lesson that keeping consistent reminders of God’s power and greatness in view is helpful, whether they are physical reminders like a stone I walk past or practices like kneeling to pray and sitting quietly in meditation.

When I get a message from God, I try to listen up. When He sends it to me from two different places (ie. Proverbs AND Joshua), that’s a real foot-stomper for getting my attention. Today, after my morning devotion, at church, our small-group fellowship topic for the day was the importance of consistent diligence concerning our spiritual disciplines. That’s a three-gong attention getter! I guess I better be paying attention!

P.S. Today, August 28th, commemorates two things in my history: 20 years since I began working in my current line of work, and 17 years since my divorce was final. Could the two be related? Maybe. It’s too easy to get distracted without the calendar reminding me of pain and discontent! Thank God for being a trustworthy Higher Power!

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