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

This temporary work-assignment seems less fruitful than my regular duties, but I am doing the best I can to find the service opportunities in it.  I’m sure somehow, indirectly, I am helping someone I may never meet or know about.  The disruption in schedule has preempted my regularly scheduled service opportunities outside work too, and I look forward to reestablishing them when this week is over.  In the meantime, I will do the best I can to find someone to help and keep from harming anyone along the way.  God rescued me and is equipping me to rescue and equip others.  I submit to His use and care.  His will, never mine, be done!


From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“If we are to reach an informed decision, the group will need to take into account everybody’s needs and ideas. For this reason, OA groups give all viewpoints a full hearing—even minority viewpoints.” — The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, p. 120


This brings to mind my first day at a new work assignment about ten years ago.  The team I had just joined was having their morning meeting, and each described their issues of the day.  While I fully expected to just listen to my first morning meeting and participate in future ones, they turned to me and asked me what my thoughts were.  Me!  I just got there!  I thought I was supposed to be quiet and learn, but they recognized me as the opportunity for a fresh perspective, and in the process, made me feel a part of the group right from the outset.  This showed me how affirming inclusion can be.


The good of OA depends on the good of the newcomer.  If folks come to our meetings and find themselves even the slightest bit outcast, they won’t return.  Without newcomers, the organization will die of old age.  Giving everyone an equal say ensures that we not only get a rounded understanding from which to make decisions, but that our group is healthy, growing, and serving its purpose.


Listening to others is a valuable way to invest my time!


From Proverbs 11:

10 When the righteous prosper, the city rejoices;
when the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy.”


The masses do associate with their individuals!  I find it amusing to watch people overreach to find a connection to the dramatic events of others.  There is something in us that makes us want to be connected with whatever is going on.  You have probably observed the man-on-the-street interview after a newsworthy incident, in which the connection is so ridiculous you wondered why the news team didn’t search a little harder for someone with more of a clue.  “I didn’t actually see it, but my cousin’s dog-walker is related to a guy who was actually there, and I think it’s really too bad what happened.”  We have all done similar things, like when someone tells a story, and we feel compelled to share one similar as though we were reaching to pull together the common experiences that until their sharing were separated by time and space.


The joy of the collective is tied to the achievements of its members.  I think it is one of the evidences that we were not made to live in isolation.  Community is in our nature.  We seem to have been designed with fellowship as part of our basic programming.  Solomon knew this, and this proverb points out that we celebrate when good things happen in and for our group.


From my reading through the Bible, currently in Isaiah 43:

In this chapter, I read of a purpose for the programming identified in the Proverb, and an explanation for our coded craving for community.  We celebrate the rising of the righteous as one because we were designed to celebrate and testify to the existence of the Righteous One.


“Lead out those who have eyes but are blind,
who have ears but are deaf.”
10 “You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord,
“and my servant whom I have chosen,
so that you may know and believe me
and understand that I am he.

Before me no god was formed,
nor will there be one after me.
11 I, even I, am the Lord,
and apart from me there is no savior.”


God says that even the wild animals honor Him, but it is His people He has created for the purpose of testifying to His goodness.


21     the people I formed for myself
that they may proclaim my praise.


I cannot read this chapter without paying attention to two of my favorite verses, which are contained within it.  My first acquaintance with them (that I recall) was when I was engaged to my wife.  She, a cancer survivor, had recently come through a lonely, dark, scary season of her life, and this was the promise she clung to as she emerged from her battle with physical illness and stepped into a new life filled with relationship, love, and hope.


18 “Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
19 See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland.”


I weep to consider the dry brittleness of my own spirit when hopelessness was the attitude of the day.  The wilderness through which Israel was led and the daily portions with which they were fed were the physical foreshadows of God’s preservation and direction of my life though the struggles that brought me to the goodness of His promise.


Thank You, Papa, for seeing me through.  You hold my yesterdays, my today, and my tomorrows.  May I live my today in such a way as to bring You honor.


From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 15:

“There is scarcely any form of trouble and misery which has not been overcome among us.  … We meet frequently so that newcomers may find the fellowship they seek.”