From Today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“We ask and we receive, first the willingness and then the ability.  We can count on this without fail.”  – The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, p. 23

 

The contributor identifies the phrase “without fail” as a source of comfort and hope.  I tend to measure the weight of the statement against the power behind it, and question why it never fails.  The reference is to our petition for the willingness and ability to live within what our eating guidelines should be, as we seek to live by “God’s guidance in everything we do.” (12&12-OA, p.23)  Discerning “what our eating guidelines should be,” for me, was preceded by accepting that, whatever my concept of the Creator was, His intention for His creation was that it would function according to its design.  I reasoned that, even if God were just a big celestial kid with an elaborate chemistry set, He still would want his science project to work out, to live and to thrive.  So much truer that was likely to be because He is a far more competent Designer than my hypothetical postulation!  When I stripped away all I thought I understood about what I do or don’t deserve, or what I could or couldn’t repay, and just accepted this fact, I was able to apply some of the best practices of healthy living to my own life.  When doctors, nutritionists or fellows in recovery described some physiological need for certain nutrients or exercise, I tried to incorporate them into my life, not because I “deserved” health on account of anything I had done, but because my Creator placed my spirit in a human body that requires care, and it is my job to administer that care if I am to live according to His will.

 

Given that I am asking my Creator for the willingness and ability to render for myself the care He intended, I am assured by the nature of the question that it is according to His will, and therefore He hears me and will answer.  It is a refreshing life, living in the will of God and having His occasional affirmation along the journey.  The healthy body he is whittling around me is just such an affirmation!

 

 

From Proverbs Chapter 10:

17 He who heeds discipline shows the way to life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray.

 

Two lessons I take from this, one for following and one for leading.  As a follower of others on my journey through this world, I take caution to ensure that any I follow are walking in the way of discipline.  It does me no good to follow one who is lost.  That is why we, in OA, are encouraged to “find someone who has what you want and ask how he or she is achieving it.”  I also have to appreciate that I am not alone on my journey through this world, and while others have gone before, still others follow behind me.  When my position on the path (and not my own expertise) dictates that I should be called upon to lead others, I have a responsibility to heed (that is to listen, observe, and follow) the reliable instruction of my Creator, faithfully demonstrating the way to life, and to never ignore correction.  This type of criticism is a handy tool, and it comes directly out of one of my old character defects – judgmentalism.  The prejudicial condemnation I used to misapply to people, institutions and circumstances (including myself), I now combine with reasonableness and humble submission, and it yields a healthy measuring device for my own behavior – discernment.

 

 

From my reading through the Bible, currently in 1 Chronicles 12:

This chapter describes the warriors who joined David in the wilderness after his exile as a fugitive from the hand of King Saul.  Three things I take away from the reading: my Heavenly Father is proud of His warriors; He will affirm and connect His faithful by His own Spirit; and He stands behind those who are committed to His purposes.

 

About one group it was said, “14 These Gadites were army commanders; the least was a match for a hundred, and the greatest for a thousand.”  I am having fun imagining being a warrior about which God can brag.  Just picture God on the sidelines of a sports field beaming with smiles and pointing you out of the crowd, “That’s my kid!”

 

God showed up in Spirit to affirm for David that his men could be trusted, “18 The Spirit came upon Amasai, chief of the Thirty, and he said, ‘We are yours, O David!  We are with you, O Son of Jesse!  Success, success to you, and success to those who help you for your God will help you.’ So David received them and made them leaders of his raiding bands.”  Not only does God answer our prayers for willingness and ability to follow His will for us, but He demonstrates what His will is along the way, and gives us confirmation as we follow Him.  David recognized the common Spirit by which Amasai cheered him, and it is that same Spirit that connects, unites, empowers, and heals us.

 

The text says of the honored warriors, “38 All these were fighting men who volunteered to serve in the ranks.  They came…fully determined to make David king over all Israel.”  As volunteers, they were humbly submitted “to serve in the ranks,” not bickering for self-promotion, but “fully determined” to bring about a single purpose, the will of God.  No half-measures here!  They were committed to a mission, content to play whatever part they were assigned to bring it about.

 

When I think about it, with God commissioning the voyage, navigating the course, providing the motivating power, and piloting the direction, my job of just being a compliant vessel becomes easy.  …especially when I consider that it is He who builds the ship and supplies the willingness too!

 

 

From The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, page 98:

OAs who have made prayer and meditation a regular part of their lives have found a resource for healing and strength which cannot fail.  Sponsors, OA friends, meetings, and literature are wonderful sources of help for us.  We wouldn’t want anyone to be without any of these resources because we often find God speaks to us through them.  From time to time, however, each of them will fail us in a moment of need.  Our Higher Power is the only source of help that is always available to us, always strong enough to lift us up and set our feet on the path to life.  Prayer and meditation are our links to this unfailing source.  Practiced regularly, they open our lives to the comfort we sought in food but could never find.  Through prayer and meditation we align ourselves with a higher spiritual Power which gives us everything we need to live to our fullest potential.

 

 

Have a blessed day (OD@aT)


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