I am abstinent by the grace of God, one more day at a time.  Yesterday I had an opportunity to rebuild a relationship that had been badly broken by my character defects – especially those related to manipulative control.  It was a nice time of renewal and mutual encouragement.  I completely muted the voice of my own will, and committed myself to encouraging only.  An amazing thing happened: God had already convinced the other party everything I had wanted to tell him!  I just listened in amazement as this fellow poured out his story of awakening and plans for reconstructing his life.  When it was all over he thanked me for being one of the few people who remained supportive and encouraging even while he went through his mistakes.  God is faithful!

 

In another experience yesterday, I judgmentally smeared blame on a fellow who was describing to me an incident in which his car had run out of gas, “You are responsible to maintain your own vehicle.”  Even as I said it, I heard myself speaking to my own responsibility to maintain my spirit’s vehicle – my body.  All the harm and neglect I have done to it has taken quite a toll, and for me to redirect my shame and pile it on top of this man’s need was extending that harm to another person.  I quickly made amends for the misspoken words and went about my day, but the phrase keeps ringing in my ears, “You are responsible to maintain your own vehicle.”  I am, you know.  It’s only on loan!

 

 

From Today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

…there is no one right way to do Step Eleven.  ‘Keep it simple’ is a good slogan to apply here. Remembering that our goal is to develop a closer conscious contact with God, prayer is simply what we do when we talk with our Higher Power.”   The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, p.93

 

“Keep it simple, servant!” is my new acronym for KISS, since my commitment to avoid negative self-talk as amends for all the harm I have done myself over the years will not allow me to intentionally call myself “stupid.”   In violation of this platitude, I still do tend to overcomplicate things.  I know that I have to seek ways that develop closer contact with God.  The tricky part is to then do them.  I try to spend time in the morning allowing Him to love me (reading) and celebrating that love by talking with Him (prayer) and listening for His word for me (meditation).  With these three tools, I establish a foundation of love for my day.  When I spend the rest of my day looking for ways to share that love with others, pouring out around me what has been given to me, then I am a useful, purposeful vessel.  When I allow myself to be loved by God, and have others with whom I can share love, I have no need for love’s artificial substitute – excess food and excessive food behaviors.  Genuine love and loving service is the purpose for which I was made.  Food was my medication for the uselessness, hopelessness and despair I felt when I was not fulfilling my purpose – not filled full of love.

 

(BREAK)

 

I had to run out of the house without doing the things I just listed above.  I abbreviated my morning routine in order to try to make it to my Saturday meeting on time.  I made it, although a few minutes late, but I was not spiritually prepared for the day, for a meeting, and especially for the chosen topic: resentments.  When the meeting got too toxic, I excused myself to the sanctuary of the church in which we meet, and knelt at the altar to make the connection I failed to engage at home.  Rising from my knees, I was a different person, I was enabled to match calamity with serenity…mostly.  If I am a vessel for pouring out the Creator’s love, I was only trickling today.

 

 

From Proverbs Chapter 21:

3 To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.

 

I did read through the Proverbs for the day before running out the door this morning, and this one stood out.  It seemed right after reading the VOR statement that there is no one right way to improve conscious contact with God.  Loving service toward fellow humans, His children, seems of greater value than butchering a lamb or bull on an altar, or any modern-day equivalent of food-fasting or financial contribution.  Many verses I have read describe God’s disgust with the sacrifices of those who only offered them out of a warped sense of obligation or while neglecting the real duty toward humanity.  One such is in Amos 5, “16 the LORD God Almighty says… 21 ‘I hate, I despise your religious feasts; I cannot stand your assemblies. 22 Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them.’”  The rest of that chapter speaks of God’s disappointment at the oppression of the poor and the neglect of the needy.  Clearly, these are things that disrupt “conscious contact with God.”

 

 

From my reading through the Bible, currently in 1 Chronicles 29:

 

King David called for all Israel to recognize his son Solomon as king, and then called for any willing, “5 Now, who is willing to consecrate himself today to the LORD?”  The overwhelming response of the people who brought material possessions for the construction of the Temple pleased the king, the leaders, and the people.  And all Israel praised the Lord, with David praying:

 

14 But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.  …17 I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity. All these things have I given willingly and with honest intent. And now I have seen with joy how willingly your people who are here have given to you. 18 O LORD, God of our fathers Abraham, Isaac and Israel, keep this desire in the hearts of your people forever, and keep their hearts loyal to you.

 

Acknowledging God as Provider of all, David prayed for willing self-sacrifice to be the hearts’ desire of God’s people forever.  I echo that prayer for myself for today.  May I give of myself, my resources, my time, and my devotion to God and His purposes always.  Amen!

 

 

From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 93:

To be vital, faith must be accompanied by self-sacrifice and unselfish, constructive action.

 

 

Have a blessed day (OD@aT)

Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.” (3 John 2)

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