Today:

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

Happy Father’s Day!  After attending a funeral yesterday for my friends’ 24 year-old daughter, on my mind are those fathers who have laid children to rest and, it follows, those children who are separated by death from their fathers.  God bless you especially this Father’s Day!

I am working hard on not developing expectations for today.  This is one of those calendar observances that can really get me if I am not careful.  It was a Mother’s Day that first revealed my disease to me.  Just because I am a father and the calendar says it’s Father’s Day, doesn’t mean I get my will, wish or way today any more than any other.  Self-seeking dies again now!

 

 

From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“At one time or another since we joined OA, most of us have experienced a period of complete freedom from the obsession with food and the compulsion to overeat.” — The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, p. 20

 

Knowing those times were coming before they got here saved me from them.  I began to toy with the idea that perhaps I didn’t need to work as diligently, or go to as many meetings, or adhere so strictly to the principles that got me where I was.  Then I remembered the stories of those who had thought that way before me, who subsequently relapsed, some struggling ever since.  I had to decide whether I wanted to risk scooting to the edge of that slippery slope.  Of course I didn’t!  So I acted as if those who came before me knew what they were talking about, and I found myself walking in their steps, safely within the boundaries of healthy progress and happy destiny.  Occasionally, the food does call to me now, but only as a distant bell, ringing often enough to remind me that I am a compulsive overeater and that my disease is already seated at the dinner table waiting for me to return in an unfit spiritual condition.

 

From Proverbs 17:

He who mocks the poor shows contempt for their Maker;
whoever gloats over disaster will not go unpunished.”

 

Lately, I have been struggling in my dealings at work with difficult customers, especially those in whom I can clearly see the manifest disease of the dependent mind and body.  I realize, of course, that such people only mirror for me my own disease, but I struggle with accepting these people without judgment.  I have to rehearse, sometimes out loud, that each one is a child of God, just as precious and valued as I am, and in far more desperate need of my loving mercy.  I guess it is fairly normal for one who has cleaned their clothes to feel disdain for the muddy who come near.  I recognize that what I feel like concerning the soiled is simply my old self-loathing with other faces in its cross-hairs, and feel like was sacrificed along with self-indulgence.  So I breathe in the Spirit’s grace and, with every cleansing breath, I attempt, by exhaling, to “get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” (Ephesians 4:31)

 

Lord, help me love those around me without applying the judgment from which Your grace freed me.  I am grateful for Your redemption.  Help me to share it freely, without reservation.  My battle is not against the flesh and blood I find mired in the world around me, but in the spiritual forces of the dark world that have taken them captive.  (References Ephesians 6:12 and 2 Timothy 2:25-26)

 

 

 

From my reading through the Bible, currently in Isaiah 6:

What I found in today’s reading is even more amazing given what I have been thinking about the last few days, and it all started when I was considering my earth father.  He has an ocular defect that has left him blind in one eye and barely seeing out of the other.  Genetics might indicate to the fearful that I and my children could be predisposed to similar defects.  I considered what life might be like without sight.

 

My dad has a saying which he built off a much more familiar phrase.  He says, “Perception is in the eye of the beholder.”  As I am building my life anew around the truth that I am not a physical being with a spiritual subpart but a spiritual being with a physical vehicle, I have been intentionally focusing on what faith tells me is true, and finding that it often counters what my eyes tell me.  “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:18)  So, it has occurred to me that not only is what dad says true, but that the perception of our flesh actually veils the truth from us as certainly as the curtain separated the Holy of Holies from the rest of the Holy Place of God’s Temple, so that deception is in the eye of the beholder.

 

Whatever thoughts of deprivation might have led me to fear, through this meditative thought process, actually led me to a gratitude for God’s provision, which I know will be there for me wherever I go, whenever I get there, and in whatever physical condition I arrive.

 

And now for the prophecy uttered which explains all our physical sensory veiling that left me in awe this morning:

He said, “Go and tell this people:

“‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding;
be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’
10 Make the heart of this people calloused;
make their ears dull
and close their eyes.[a]
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts,
and turn and be healed.”

 

Just as light is more noticeable in darkness, God’s glory is magnified when creation finds its way to Him in His timing, at His beckoning, as He determines.  We are born blinded by flesh, and the veil is torn as He tears it, allowing only what we can handle until such time as He determines we should be lifted entirely from the tent (tabernacle) of this physical body. (Reference 2 Peter 1:13-14)

 

Precious Heavenly Papa, thank You for shielding me from those secret things only You could know would overwhelm me.  Thank You for growing me and drawing me, by Your Spirit, closer to Your side, and in deeper conscious contact with You.  Clean me of my impurity, so that I can stand in Your presence.  Make me whole, so I can bear up in the sight of Your holiness.  Prepare me here for eternal companionship in Your presence.  On my own, I can do nothing to ready myself for Your eyes to come on me, much less mine on You.  Thank You for Jesus, who paid for my cleansing with Your Spirit and His blood.

 

From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, pages 1213:

“For a brief moment, I had needed and wanted God. There had been a humble willingness to have Him with me – and He came. But soon the sense of His presence had been blotted out by worldly clamors, mostly those within myself. And so it had been ever since. How blind I had been.”

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