I am a recovering compulsive overeater, abstinent by the grace of God one more day at a time.  For details, check out my food journal.

From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“Each group has but one primary purpose—to carry its message to the compulsive overeater who still suffers.” — Tradition Five

Isn’t it nice that the Traditions are there to remind us how to behave toward others?  It would be easy to slip into the misunderstanding that we exist just to commiserate with others who share our compulsion.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  We are not a diet and calories club, neither are we a community of commiseration.  We are a fellowship of spiritual recovery from a three-fold disease, the primary symptom of which is compulsive overeating.  (Let the addict of other media substitute his/her substance here.)  Unified behind the purpose of service and directing that service at a target, we know we will find usefulness when we properly employ ourselves to that end.  It is in voluntarily giving ourselves to others that we recover from the debilitating habit of self-service.

I recently shared a bit of shooting advice I heard in the movie, The Patriot, “Aim small; miss small.”  As I understand it, the idea is that if one aims at his enemy and misses, he has to take another shot, but if he aims at the button on the enemy’s vest and misses, he still hits the enemy’s breast pocket.  When we aim our service at the tiny pinpoint of our primary purpose, we are bound to find ourselves doing service of all kinds to all sorts of people as we attempt to find the compulsive overeater who is ready to receive our help.  Practicing this principle in all our affairs, we find ourselves more fully freed from our self-obsession when we broaden our willingness to include all those we meet along the way.

From Proverbs 3:

I love this chapter!  It is filled with encouragement, practical advice, and straight-talk.  Even this very useful bit of instruction in verse 3 includes the carrot of explanation to motivate the reader who must know the answer to the ever-present question “why?” in verse 4.

3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 Then you will win favor and a good name
in the sight of God and man.”

Etching love on my spirit proves tougher the shallower I scratch the surface.  Mediocrity serves nothing.  The moment I allow love and faithfulness to wane, I find myself spinning needlessly into self-pity and useless remorse, like a transmission out of gear.  I get nowhere and burn up my engine!  When I take the time early in my day to commit to these motives, deeply drawing on them to be the fuel for every action, I find myself more ready, willing and capable to meet whatever comes.  When I declare with my spirit that I will love all and harm none, I am not likely to tarnish the name of my Creator, my house, or myself, just like verse 4 promises.

From my reading through the Bible, currently in Psalm 62, 63, and 64:

Psalm 62 contains a great starting place for those suffering from a warped misconception of God.  David brings it down to the basics.

11 One thing God has spoken,
two things have I heard:
that you, O God, are strong,
12 and that you, O Lord, are loving.”

What else does one need to know?  He loves us and is powerful enough for that love to make a difference if we let it.  In Psalm 63, David pronounces the magnitude of the benefits of that love and commits himself to a response of gratitude.

3 Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.”

Many have commented on my physical recovery, saying that I have added years to my life.  I don’t know what kind of appointment God has for me regarding my graduation to Glory, but this much I know: I would rather live a year with this level of freedom and connection to God than twenty years the way I was before!  When I am consciously connected to it, His love is truly better than life!

Psalm 64:10,

“Let the righteous rejoice in the LORD
and take refuge in him;
let all the upright in heart praise him!”

From The “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 89:

“Life will take on new meaning. To watch people recover, to see them help others, to watch loneliness vanish, to see a fellowship grow up about you, to have a host of friends—this is an experience you must not miss. We know you will not want to miss it. Frequent contact with newcomers and with each other is the bright spot of our lives.”