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

For the next four days, my schedule will be adjusted for a special project at work.  My time will be a little compressed, and a lot regimented.  I say this to excuse my brief and unornamented posts the next few days.  God willing, I will still continue to write over these busy days.

From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“Some of us misunderstand this Step and act as if it’s up to us to remove our own shortcomings.” — The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, p. 55

I already know that being good on my own doesn’t work.  Attempting self-initiated goodness leads to feelings of failure and self-loathing, followed by actions that are driven by self-pity and remorse.  Pretty soon, even the “Golden Rule” is tarnished, because if I despise myself and treat people the way I expect to be treated, no one wins.  The good news is that the Creator intended His creation to function according to His design, and He is able and willing to restore us to our intended condition if we humbly acknowledge our departure from His plan and earnestly seek His help.

One thing I have noticed is that God is a gentleman.  He apparently does not construct while we are still demolishing.  When I have prayed for Him to remove a defect, then willfully engaged in it later in the day, I have noticed that God’s construction effort waits for me to finish, and then resumes only after I repent from my self-destruction and reconnect with His life-giving Spirit.  So while it is not my job to remove my defects, it is proper for a grateful host not to stand in the way of the construction effort.

From Proverbs 10:

23 A fool finds pleasure in evil conduct,
but a man of understanding delights in wisdom.”

I imagine a man going for his first custom fitted suit.  The foolish child in him will not be comfortable standing still, posing for the tailor, waiting for the garment to be marked and pinned.  He will resist and writhe the entire time, struggling against the work of the craftsman until both are exasperated and the fool walks out of the shop dressed in the familiar rags that only befit a youth or a fool.  In contrast, the man who respects what the tailor is trying to do, and can picture in his mind’s eye the end result, joyfully accepts the momentary discomfort as his part in fashioning the finished product.  The man of understanding is rewarded, not only with the luxury attire, but with the sanity and stability throughout the process, and the joyful satisfaction of having participated in the accomplishment of something beautiful, even if only as a willing form, submitted to the hand of the master.

God, I apologize for wiggling against Your hand, resisting Your Way, and insisting on mine for so much of my life.  I believe You are seeking my best interest.  Help me to stand still and submit to Your divine craftsmanship, while You fashion new clothes for me to wear.  Dress me in Your righteousness, for I have none of my own.  Jesus be praised! Amen.

From my reading through the Bible, currently in Isaiah 42:

In this chapter, the Holy Spirit speaks through Isaiah of the coming of the Messiah, who would not bring His kingdom through riots or outrage, but with faithfulness.  (vs. 1-4)  The deliverance promised is one from blind darkness, hopeless captivity, and empty deafness, all of which the latter portion of the chapter attributes to the work of the Deliverer Himself (v.24), as if the hunger was made for the purpose and glory of the Satisfier.

Verses 1 and 8 might look like they contradict one another, since the first promises to put God’s Spirit on the Promised One, and the latter says He would not share His glory with another.  The only explanation is that the Promised One would be God Himself.   Though this promise is made in advance, few will hear or understand.

See, the former things have taken place,
and new things I declare;
before they spring into being
I announce them to you.”

23 Which of you will listen to this
or pay close attention in time to come?”

Though the eternal mystery of it all is far too lofty to be understood by man, the Spirit offers this simple invitation.  It described the Messiah, the “Christ” (God with us) and everyone who would follow His discipleship as “Christian” (models after Christ’s example).

“I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness;
I will take hold of your hand.
I will keep you and will make you
to be a covenant for the people
and a light for the Gentiles,
to open eyes that are blind,
to free captives from prison
and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.”

God, thank You for freeing me from the despair in which I once lived.  Continue to kindle Your Light in my life.  Incinerate my defects by the fire of Your Spirit, and cauterize my will against rebellion from Yours.  Magnify Yourself in the life of this mortal that others would find hope in the darkness and come to You.  Bless, dear Lord, those that remain today in the lonely darkness of despair.  Help me to be helpful to them and never harmful, to comfort with the comfort I have received in You.

From The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous page 103:

“God finds many ways to help people through us as long as we are willing to do what we can, when we can, and keep ourselves on the path of spiritual progress.”