Today:

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.

 

I had a thought about hopelessness and helplessness like the kind we experienced in that “bitter morass of self-pity” described on pages 6 – 8 of the Big Book.  Our hopelessness came because of our determination to act on our own power.  Since by ourselves man can do nothing, our disappointment was inevitable but unnecessary.  It would be like a toy balloon sitting in its package with other balloons on the shelf of a dime store whining that it was neglected, not doing what it should be doing, not feeling fulfilled, not doing its part.  When that balloon gets its call, is taken down off the shelf, is filled with the breath that gives it shape, definition, structure and purpose, and is handed to a child to minister joy to that child, our balloon suddenly realizes there was nothing he alone could do on a shelf in a package, not by any amount of his will or futile strength that would have brought him satisfaction.  It was not that he was worthless on that shelf.  He and his companions always well knew their value because it was displayed by their maker.  Fulfillment only came when the shopkeeper selected him, breathed life into him, and employed him for his true purpose.

 

Today, I submit to the hand of the Shopkeeper, celebrating my emptiness and powerlessness without the Breath of Life that gives me purpose and power.  I breathe in deeply the saving grace of Jesus as I trust in God to empower me to do anything I do by His strength, not mine.  Absolute surrender!  That is my call, and that is my response!

 

From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“These Twelve-Steps and Twelve-Traditions principles, rather than our problems, should be the focus of every OA meeting.” — The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, p. 147

 

When we focus on our problems we rehearse them, giving them priority and building them into greater mountains than the molehills they really are.  In fact, the neuropathology of addiction suggests that we are reinforcing our disease by giving attention to such problems.  Consider that my dysfunction is marked by the pattern of my improper response to distress – of giving myself permission to feel self-pitiful, expressing that emotion, artificially medicating that feeling, and perpetuating my distress, in a never-ending cycle.  Focusing on the problems spins that pinwheel, keeping it turning over and over itself, on and on.  The affirmative nature of the rooms gives me the feeling of support and encouragement, virtually rewarding my behavior.  The spiritual principles and the program of recovery break the cycle of bitterness, self-pity, and despair.  They are a detour off the harmful track of my pattern, a planned spiritual response to distress rather than a damaging emotional one.  It is this spiritual detour we are assembled to emphasize.  It is, after all, the message we carry.

 

 

From Proverbs 9:

Leave your simple ways and you will live;
walk in the way of understanding.”

 

My wife has a dog which lives in our house.  I enjoy his company too, but he is her dog.  The one thing I have taken it upon myself to train him is to move from my path when I am walking.  It amazes me how often, instead of sidestepping to avoid entanglement with my feet, he runs ahead of me, pauses to look back, realizes I am still coming and moves some more, continuing this silly dance until either he is backed into a closet or I change my course.  I consider the two men who, when walking on railroad tracks, suddenly become aware that a train is bearing down on them.  One gingerly steps off the track to safety while the other frantically runs a length of track as fast as he can, desperately trying to outrun the barreling locomotive, but ultimately loses the race and meets his demise.  This verse says to me simply, “Step off the track you are on and walk a different way.”

 

 

From my reading through the Bible, currently in Psalm 75 and 76:

Psalm 75 appears to be a prophetic look forward to what the Apostle John described in Revelation.  In verse 8 the Lord is holding a cup of spiced wine which will be poured out on the earth at the “appointed time.”  I found an interesting repetition of the call to turn from the old ways before God’s judgment.

 

To the arrogant I say, ‘Boast no more,’
and to the wicked, ‘Do not lift up your horns.”

 

Here is another call not to boast, whine, or otherwise exalt my hurt feelings, resentments, fears, or other unfulfilled expectations.  Another great remedy for the urge to toot my own bugle to my own tune is to play my designated part in the orchestra of the Almighty, under His direction, in concert with His grace.

 

Interestingly also is that in John’s Revelation, the wrath of God was depicted as being poured out from seven bowls, preceded by the blowing of seven trumpets.  (See Revelation 8 and 16.)

 

In Psalm 76, Asaph sings of the victory of God over even the mightiest of men, reminding me that all the power of man is merely weakness to God.

 

Valiant men lie plundered,
they sleep their last sleep;
not one of the warriors
can lift his hands.”

 

 

 

From The “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 68:

“We never apologize to anyone for depending upon our Creator. We can laugh at those who think spirituality the way of weakness. Paradoxically, it is the way of strength. The verdict of the ages is that faith means courage. All men of faith have courage. They trust their God. We never apologize for God. Instead we let Him demonstrate, through us, what He can do. We ask Him to remove our fear and direct our attention to what He would have us be. At once, we commence to outgrow fear.”

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