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


From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“Those of us who live this program don’t simply carry the message; we are the message.” — The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, p. 106


The contributor added,

“The more habitual it becomes, the easier it is to live the program.”


When I go to work, I carry certain tools of my trade that were awkward when I first began carrying them, but became less burdensome over the years.  Now, when I am missing one of them I feel out of balance, keenly aware that something is missing.  Similarly, a message of hope seems like an alien payload to one who first begins carrying it.  As hope and life continue to grow into and flow out of their host they begin to permeate and saturate his existence, until the message cannot be distinguished from the messenger.


That is the kind of “after” picture I want to be!  The kind that needs no “before” comparison; that is in such contrast to the rest of the world that all the hopeless and lifeless who come in contact with me are witnesses to the fact that something is different about me and are blessed by the interaction.


Lord of Hope, fill me so completely that those I would help may bear witness to Your presence in their lives, and not be distracted by mine.


From Proverbs 9:

The Spirit of Wisdom offers life more abundant, and stands in direct opposition to the invitation of folly, which promises the consequences of death.

11 For through me (Wisdom) your days will be many,
and years will be added to your life.”


This reference serves to emphasize the contrast between living in vitality and walking in death, washing out the treacherous, dusky gray area in between.  God sometimes turns up the light in His representatives, and other times increases the darkness surrounding them, but in each is faithful to reveal His glory.


Author of Salvation and Beacon of Hope, may I walk in Your Light and Life, and never stray into darkness.


From my reading through the Bible, currently in Jeremiah 7:

23 but I gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in all the ways I command you, that it may go well with you. 24 But they did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubborn inclinations of their evil hearts. They went backward and not forward.”


God reveals His motive in this passage.  Obedience was never for the sake of His ego, as if man could do anything to boost that even if it was needed.  He set guidelines for living for us so “that it may go well” with us.  He offered us the gift of directions by which we could live according to His best intentions, but what we felt like, wished for, and desired in our hearts corrupted our journey and set us astray when we chose to follow those instead.


I imagine a great ocean liner with no navigator, no plan, no course.  Instead, each passenger takes a turn at the helm, steering here and there as their will, wish and whim may lead them.  Such a vessel would wander until stranded in helplessness, drained of all resources, with no fuel for its engines or food for its passengers.  God’s ways are not mysteries.  His will and ways are well documented, carved in stone as a matter of fact…twice by His own finger!  Disengaging from His will doesn’t just constitute a slight miscalculation, it is a complete abandonment of His course and forfeiture of the ultimate destination.  The only one who can right the errors of our past is God, and He can only do so when we reengage Him as pilot of our vessel, adhering to strict abstinence from “the stubborn inclinations of (our) evil hearts.”


From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, “Freedom from Bondage”:

“I had no problem admitting I was powerless over alcohol, and I certainly agreed that my life had become unmanageable. I had only to reflect on the contrast between the plans I made so many years ago for my life with what really happened to know I couldn’t manage my life drunk or sober. A.A. taught me that willingness to believe was enough for a beginning.”