Yesterday, I went to the gym rather later than usual and with praise music in my earphones. While I was getting into the worship of the music I looked at the elliptical display and saw that my 8+ mph pace had quickened to 10+ mph.  It didn’t stay like that for the whole warm-up, but it was amazing what I could easily do when my mind was on His power and not mine.  I was pretty pumped, and it showed in the first part of my machine-work.  Later, I was on my vertical pull-down machine, when a complete stranger came up to me and told me my form was wrong!  I had seen this middle-eastern-looking man when he smiled at me with a strange grin just moments before as we passed between machines.   I thanked him and tried desperately not to resent his unsolicited instruction, but inside I steamed, and my pace and strength suffered as I felt myself deflate, disgusted with my form.  As I neared the end of my workout, it occurred to me that maybe God had used this stranger to help me, and that my poor form might be doing me harm.  All the man said was that my back should remain straight, rather than lean backward.  How else would I know that if I didn’t get unsolicited advice?  I haven’t solicited anyone’s advice!  I looked around for that man, but could not find him.  I had not seen him before that day, and I did not see him after he helped me. Strange!

 

 

Voices of Recovery today emphasizes the importance of the prayer and meditation suggested in Step 11, “When I take the time each day to make contact with God, the day goes so much better.”  Simple, but not easy!  Complacency regarding this spiritual practice seems to be an area of my life in which my obsessive-compulsive nature flipped from defect to asset still has little effect.  Holy Spirit, stir my heart to call to You and make You my drive for each moment of every day!

 

 

Proverbs 8:4 tells me that I have no exclusive rights to wisdom, and that she calls out to everyone, “To you, O men, I call out; I raise my voice to all mankind.” I am reminded that God grants me access to Him and His Truth, but He offers it to everyone alike.  Recently I began to pray the Lord’s Prayer, and could not get past the first two words, “Our Father.”  The second word I can say with the help of the Holy Spirit, who brings me into a relationship with my Heavenly Papa, and I am humbled, yet proud, to be His son.  What struck me was the combination of that celebration of paternity and the plurality of the pronoun “our.”  Everyone I have wronged, everyone I have neglected, everyone I have begrudged, along with everyone I have served, helped, or loved, are all His children too.  His children’s need to experience His love washed over me, and I felt moved to act.  Wisdom raises her voice to all mankind.  There are two guaranteed “yes” answers in Scripture that I can find: sincere requests for salvation (Joel 2:32John 3:14-17Acts 2:38-39.) and for wisdom (James 1:5-9).  These are offered to all comers.  Why is it I tend to encapsulate my relationship with God, and neglect all the others who are precisely so related?  Perhaps it is because, as a recovering compulsive overeater, I am only just awakening to a recovery from my true problem: self-centeredness.

 

 

2 Samuel 8 tells of amazing battles David led Israel through.  Verses 14 and 15 tell of his success and virtuous rule, “The Lord gave David victory wherever he went.  David reigned over all Israel, doing what was just and right for all his people.”  It is no small thing to have integrity with authority.  It seems to me that the more responsibility one in authority has, the harder it is to maintain that integrity.   David ruled over all Israel and the lands and nations Israel conquered, and he did it while doing what was just and right for all his people, apparently leaving no one out.  Unilateral justice – an amazing concept!

 

 

Helping others is the foundation stone of your recovery. A kindly act once in a while isn’t enough. You have to act the Good Samaritan every day, if need be. It may mean the loss of many nights’ sleep, great interference with your pleasures, interruptions to your business. It may mean sharing your money and your home, counseling frantic wives and relatives, innumerable trips to police courts, sanitariums, hospitals, jails and asylums.”  (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 97)

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