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

What I want to do is spend the day avoiding quiet reflection.  It is now half past three in the afternoon, and I have not spent my morning quiet time, done my reading or begun my writing.  I have prayed certainly enough, and I have sacrificed.  I have even reflected on the truth of what is really happening today.  But I haven’t spent time connecting to God and depositing my will and my life into His hands.

My son was accepted into ministry school at the last possible hour yesterday.  It was an awful day of waiting and hoping, with pulse rates racing at every ring of the phone and souls deflating at each indication the caller was not the Registrar.   This went on until five minutes of 5pm, when we finally heard the good news of his acceptance.  This morning started early with Junior’s flight departing at 8am, so the whole family accompanied him to the airport.  I was supposed to go back to work today, but I took a holiday to spend it with family and then do chores.  I have been busying myself with yard-work since I got home from the airport.  My wife and daughter are off having a girls’ day with my mother, who also lives in town.

While exerting myself in the dust and sun, I realized I was putting off facing my emotions regarding the events of the day.  I still believe that maybe it is best this way.  I will feel them when they come.  I am trusting God with my son, who is really God’s child anyway.  I can’t help but think of Hannah, the mother of Samuel, who turned her child over to Eli the Priest.

27 ‘I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. 28 So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.’ And he worshiped the Lord there.”  (1 Samuel 1)

From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“No longer will we allow fear to keep us from doing what is best for us.” — The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, p. 57

You know what is even tougher than allowing God to take charge of your life?  Letting God and others take control of their lives!  I’m recovering from a control-freak character defect, and it is hard to let others walk a path separate from mine.  I guess I have to watch God do His miracles a few more times before I get to the mind-set of expecting them, rather than worrying it might not go the way I would have planned it.  Self-will still likes to run riot when I let it out of its cage, even if just in my imagination!

I like what the VOR contributor added about making a choice between one pain and another.  The pain of letting go is much less than the pain of clinging desperately to a thing that won’t be subdued.

“Today I am abstinent. I choose the pain of growth because I trust that my Higher Power will care for me no matter what the outcome.”

From Proverbs 25:

28 Like a city whose walls are broken down
is a man who lacks self-control.”

I just got done doing the yard my way, a way it has not seen for the duration of time my son held the responsibility for it.  In fact, part of my day was like hacking through a jungle.  I can’t believe some of the weeds and grass runners that had run amok out there!  Hacking through that mess, and chopping down a lot of overgrowth reminded me of how quickly things can get out of control when we don’t exercise routine maintenance tasks regularly.  This is true with regard to my spiritual health, my physical health, my emotional health, my house, my yard, my job, everything!  I have to do what I have to do.  “Want to” is for holidays, and even then, should only be indulged in reserved amounts as recreation warrants.  What God wants for us is sometimes fun, but it is always responsible, always righteous, always pure.  I want to be the man walking in integrity, spoken of in Proverbs 20:7 NKJV, “The righteous man walks in his integrity; His children are blessed after him.”  (I saw that on a friend’s wall yesterday, and liked it.)

From my reading through the Bible, currently in Jeremiah 21:

I don’t know why I didn’t remember this from Israel’s history, but God worked in a little foreshadowing when Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians were attacking Jerusalem.  The king of Judah asked for deliverance, but God rejected his request, promising instead to destroy all who refused to surrender.

“Furthermore, tell the people, ‘This is what the Lord says: See, I am setting before you the way of life and the way of death. Whoever stays in this city will die by the sword, famine or plague. But whoever goes out and surrenders to the Babylonians who are besieging you will live; he will escape with his life.10 I have determined to do this city harm and not good, declares the Lord. It will be given into the hands of the king of Babylon, and he will destroy it with fire.’”

This reminds me of another King, who stands at the door and knocks.

19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.

21 To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”  (The words of Jesus Christ, Revelation 3:19-22, NIV)

From Overeaters Anonymous (Second Edition), chapter 9, “It Gets Better, I Promise”:

“As a friend of mine says, ‘You’re either surrendering to God or you’re surrendering to the food.’ Surrendering to food means death for me. I’m certain that I never have to eat compulsively again, but I will always be a compulsive overeater.”

(For accountability’s sake, the details of my eating are posted in my online food log.)