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.

 

Wow!  I just became aware that yesterday I read today’s VOR entry.  So today I read yesterday’s.  I cherish these harmless little evidences that I am faulty and still esteemed by God!  I am enjoying my first of four days off after working some hairy shifts at work over the past few days.  I am eager to get started being of help to those at home and in my personal, rather than professional, world for a change.

 

From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“We seek to examine our actions so we can learn from our mistakes and build on our successes.” — The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, p. 87

 

The VOR contributor made a curious distinction between examining behavior and emotional condition, but I believe that thorough self-examination requires a review of all three parts of our being: physical-behavioral, mental-emotional, and spiritual-vital.  Certainly the Tenth Step inventory focuses primarily on how, though my behavior, my spiritual fitness maintained rule over my emotional turbulences but, since the three are linked in the one person they make up, to overlook any facet in such a targeted inventory is to discredit that aspect.  Our spiritual being, as the anchor of our three-fold recovery, deserves no less attention during regular inspection than the flotsam and jetsam our wrecked behavioral and emotional states have become.

 

One way I have found to practice the measurement of my spiritual condition is to check my motives.  Even those moments which one might celebrate might have been accomplished as a result of vanity or by the exertion of my own power or will.  Proverbs 16:2, “All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the LORD.”  The Big Book suggests this in the introspective Tenth Step questions comparing thoughts of self with thoughts of others, and the assessment of what we packed into the “stream of life.”  These questions themselves show the intermingling of the mental and the spiritual, which each are regularly expressed in the physical.  I find that praying Psalm 139:23-24 helps me to begin clearing out the debris of self and makes room for God’s Spirit to sweep up:

 

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.”

 

 

From Proverbs 29:

The righteous care about justice for the poor,
but the wicked have no such concern.”

 

The pointy end of this verse is in the inference that can be made regarding the motives of care and concern and their expression through our behavior.  I am convinced that to experience fulfilled life, in right relationship with my Higher Power, I am to demonstrate careful concern for the less-privileged.  So part of my regular self-inspection needs to include questions of what I did not do as well as what I did.  As I ask myself whether I missed opportunities to love the unloved, I am regularly convicted by a positive answer.  That judgment, properly applied, motivates me to meet the following opportunity with a better expression of the life I have been given.

 

Gracious Father, help me be attentive to the needs of Your other children, especially those who go unnoticed by the masses.

 

From my reading through the Bible, currently in Psalm 119:

Psalm 119 is an acrostic poem, each section made of lines that began (in its original text) with the corresponding letter of the Hebrew alphabet.  The poem itself seems like a recitation of the elements of faithful living, as if it were meant to be a learning tool for Hebrew School, which I’m sure it later became.  The elements are good for me to examine and rehearse even though the alliteration is lost in the English translation.  Among them seem to be: redemption, gratitude, celebration, obedience, devotion, abstinence, and dedication.

 

א Aleph

Blessed are they who keep his statutes
and seek him with all their heart.

 

ב Beth

11 I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you.

 

ג Gimel

20 My soul is consumed with longing
for your laws at all times.

 

ד Daleth

26 I recounted my ways and you answered me;
teach me your decrees.

 

ה He

37 Turn my eyes away from worthless things;
preserve my life according to your word.[Or life in your way]

 

ו Waw

45 I will walk about in freedom,
for I have sought out your precepts.

 

ז Zayin

50 My comfort in my suffering is this:
Your promise preserves my life.

 

ח Heth

61 Though the wicked bind me with ropes,
I will not forget your law.

 

ט Teth

71 It was good for me to be afflicted
so that I might learn your decrees.

 

י Yodh

73 Your hands made me and formed me;
give me understanding to learn your commands.

 

כ Kaph

88 Preserve my life according to your love,
and I will obey the statutes of your mouth.

 

ל Lamedh

89 Your word, O Lord, is eternal;
it stands firm in the heavens.
90 Your faithfulness continues through all generations;
you established the earth, and it endures.

 

מ Mem

104 I gain understanding from your precepts;
therefore I hate every wrong path.

 

נ Nun

105 Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light for my path.
112 My heart is set on keeping your decrees
to the very end.

 

ס Samekh

114 You are my refuge and my shield;
I have put my hope in your word.

 

ע Ayin

125 I am your servant; give me discernment
that I may understand your statutes.

 

פ Pe

133 Direct my footsteps according to your word;
let no sin rule over me.

 

צ Tsadhe

143 Trouble and distress have come upon me,
but your commands are my delight.

 

ק Qoph

145 I call with all my heart; answer me, O Lord,
and I will obey your decrees.

 

ר Resh

154 Defend my cause and redeem me;
preserve my life according to your promise.

 

ש Sin and Shin

165 Great peace have they who love your law,
and nothing can make them stumble.

 

ת Taw

175 Let me live that I may praise you,
and may your laws sustain me.
176 I have strayed like a lost sheep.
Seek your servant,
for I have not forgotten your commands.

 

God, may my life be a reflection of my loving gratitude to You for the Life You have poured out for me.

 

From The “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 86:

“When we retire at night, we constructively review our day. Were we resentful, selfish, dishonest or afraid? Do we owe an apology? Have we kept something to ourselves which should be discussed with another person at once? Were we kind and loving toward all? What could we have done better? Were we thinking of ourselves most of the time? Or were we thinking of what we could do for others, of what we could pack into the stream of life? But we must be careful not to drift into worry, remorse or morbid reflection, for that would diminish our usefulness to others. After making our review we ask God’s forgiveness and inquire what corrective measures should be taken.”

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