I am abstinent by the grace of God, one more day at a time.

 

My Action Plan is taking a detour today, due to illness.  I have an important weekend coming up, for which I need to be well, so I am going to skip my regularly-scheduled workout today and get bed-rest.  This is extremely rare for me but I believe is in keeping with my commitment to do myself no harm.

 

 

From Today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“Our true insanity could be seen in the fact that we kept right on trying to find comfort in excess food, long after it began to cause us misery.”  – The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, p. 11

 

How I did resist the semantics of recovery!  I hated identifying with “powerless,” “unmanageable,” “disease,” and the vanguard of them all, “insane.”  Every time someone quoted Einstein’s definition of insanity, I could hear old tapes in my internal address system (my mental loudspeaker) barking out, “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got.”  While I hated those labels, I could see that it was disappointment that made me hate them.  By their grammatical attachments, they represented what I wanted and did not have: power, manageability, ease, and sanity.  Like a gang of schoolyard teasers, they seemed to taunt me, “Too bad!  You are powerless, unmanageable, diseased, and insane!”  Those words, however, weren’t teasing me; they were trying to help me.  Like “Wrong Way” signs on a one-way street, they were trying to warn me of danger ahead, of a need to turn around.  It was self-hate that morphed the helping words into the mental image of something sinister.  When abstinence cleared my food-fog, I could see that those words weren’t coming from bullies, but from ministers of my Higher Power’s mercy.  Taking their hands, and following to where I stand today, I am grateful for the words that turned me around, even as insane as I was!

 

 

From Proverbs Chapter 30:

27 locusts have no king, yet they advance together in ranks;

 

These locusts are listed among the “24 small, yet…extremely wise” things on earth. Their qualification: their ability to advance together in ranks even with no king.  By this reckoning, the fellowship of Overeaters Anonymous has demonstrated the same wisdom.  Our inverted triangle service structure means our trusted servants are on the lowest rung, serving all above them, as opposed to a conventional power structure of hierarchy, yet we advance together, and together, we get better!

 

I shared something with a dear fellow yesterday that the image of advancing in ranks in a unified direction makes me recall:

The Road of Happy Destiny has rough patches, and high and low spots, but it always goes straight ever progressing on a compass heading of perfection.  We don’t arrive there any more than we could arrive at “North.”  Neither will we ever reach strength, or freedom from struggling, or perfection in any other form.  Serenity comes with acceptance of our position on that path, our alignment with the center line of God’s grace and provision for us, and our contentment to be leaning forward into the next step we take along the journey.

 

 

From my reading through the Bible, currently in 2 Chronicles 12:

 

King Rehoboam yielded to some road signs himself.  When the prophet Shemaiah delivered God’s message of conviction to him, he demonstrated a significant turn-around from his arrogance.  “5 This is what the LORD says, ‘You have abandoned me; therefore, I now abandon you…”   “12 Because Rehoboam humbled himself, the LORD’s anger turned from him, and he was not totally destroyed. Indeed, there was some good in Judah.”  Humility turned away God’s wrath.  Could it be that self-assertion brings it about?  Abandoning God certainly was the cause of God’s plan to abandon Rehoboam to his enemies.  That’s what the “therefore” is there for!  I know that my enemies are my character defects.  They threaten my life and livelihood more than any human or institution.  When I take a moment to visualize the overturned fiery wreck my life would be like if God abandoned me to my “enemies,” those defects, I can begin to appreciate the healthy reverence of God wrapped up in the all too misunderstood word “fear.”

 

Now all has been heard;

   here is the conclusion of the matter:

Fear God and keep his commandments,

   for this is the whole duty of man.

                       Ecclesiastes 12:13

the LORD delights in those who fear him,

   who put their hope in his unfailing love.

                       Psalm 147:11

 

To me, fear is the healthy respect for consequences and an honor for the One who holds them.  But, like the treacherous shoulder of a highway, this is not where I am called to drive.  Fear motivates me not to turn from God’s path.  Fear’s flipside, love, motivates me to keep true to the centerline of that path.  “Perfect love drives out fear...”  (1 John 4:18)  Whether I choose to observe the negative or positive reinforcement, one thing remains true: God has carved out a Way for me, and it draws me ever closer to Him.  His desire is to find that, “Indeed, there was some good in Judah.”

 

 

From The “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 55:

Actually we were fooling ourselves, for deep down in every man, woman, and child, is the fundamental idea of God. It may be obscured by calamity, by pomp, by worship of other things, but in some form or other it is there. For faith in a Power greater than ourselves, and miraculous demonstrations of that power in human lives, are facts as old as man himself.

 

 

 

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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