Good things have happened when I’ve listened to others sharing in order to recognize my own symptoms.  I need to notice the quality of my listening.  It is a measure of my spiritual condition.” (Voices of Recovery, page 299, “October 25”)  She thinks she’s in recovery?  I can’t believe he just said that!  She needs to talk to her sponsor!  Will he ever shut up?  The no-crosstalk rule and my own conscience kept these thoughts from falling out my mouth, but they betray a juvenile self-centeredness that seems common to those whose spiritual fitness is in question.  When I stop mentally steam-rolling others I can see, in even the most far-out share, a caricature of my disease and what it can do or has done in me.  I need the occasional rant-and-raver to blow off steam in order to see what a rage geyser looks like.  Only then can I be sensitive to it when I see the same thing in my mirror.  Perfect Creator, I admit that I have a plank in my eye.  I trust You to remove it in Your timing and offer it to You even now.  Please keep me from attempting eye surgery on my fellows.


Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold is a wise man’s rebuke to a listening ear.”  Another instruction to listen comes from Proverbs 25:12.  Heavenly Father, You give sight to the blind and ears their hearing.  Deliver me from the self-centeredness and fear that keeps me from hearing Your message to me.  Source of all Wisdom, speak to me and find me listening, that I may know You, follow Your will for me, and encourage others with Your Truth.


In 1 Samuel 21 and 22, I read of David seeking God’s direction by going to a town of priests.  There David was given provisions usually set aside for priests.  He described a state of spiritual readiness in verse 21:5 that I aspire to, “…the Men’s things are holy even on missions that are not holy.  How much more so today!”  The consecrated bread David and his men were given was from the aromatic “Bread of the Presence” offering.  Once hot bread was put on the altar’s table, the old was taken away and, since it was holy, was “consecrated” to holy purposes.  This gives new meaning to the phrase, “Give us this day our daily bread.”  Not only does “bread” refer to more than just flour and water, but I can’t help but feel that there is some level of preparedness of the recipient.  God prepares me to receive, and then He blesses me.  Whether my “daily bread” is literal food, general provision for my well-being, or the spiritual Word of God that sustains my spirit and nourishes my soul, I have to be ready to receive.  God, I stretch out my open hands to You, recognizing their emptiness.  I commit my life to You, so that even in my routine and ignoble tasks You might be honored; that “even on missions that are not holy” You might find Your servant ready to receive your goodness and to do Your will.


I was to test my thinking by the new God-consciousness within. Common sense would thus become uncommon sense. I was to sit quietly when in doubt, asking only for direction and strength to meet my problems as He would have me. Never was I to pray for myself, except as my requests bore on my usefulness to others. Then only might I expect to receive. But that would be in great measure.” (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 13)


I have ironed out a few wrinkles in my plan of eating regarding the timing of my meals on days when I work the 12-hour evening shift.  I have begun eating lunch around 2, dinner around 8, and fourth meal at around 11.  It requires that I plan and pack three meals to work, but my recovery is worth making provision for my success.  Health doesn’t happen by accident.  On the contrary, deterioration does!