Abstinent Today:

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:

“Clearly, if we were going to remain abstinent and find serenity, we had to learn better ways of dealing with other people, ways that would bring us joy instead of pain.” — The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, p. 67

The beginning of this statement indicates that what follows is an understood given.  Once upon a time, I used words like “obviously” and “actually” to insist that my perspective was beyond dispute.  Because of my argumentative history, I am still alarmed by grammatical flags such as this particular instance of “clearly,” which signals another thought battle I had when I first came into recovery: I did not believe I deserved joy instead of pain.  There was some deeply twisted part of me that believed pain was due me, and that joy was reserved for the more valuable.  Something happened while I worked the previous seven steps that swept away the obstruction of this postulate.  In Step Eight, we list all persons we have harmed, and become willing to make amends to them all.  Recognizing that I, myself, am on that list puts me in the cue along with the many individuals, groups, and organizations to receive help and not harm from me, for as much as God empowers me to give.

What liberated me from my self-condemnation was the bowing of my opinion to that of my God.  He declared that I was worth crossing the universe and dying in my place.  Who am I to argue with Someone who would make such a sacrifice?

Still, sometimes I need a reminder, like this song by Jason Gray, Remind Me Who I Am.



From Proverbs 5:

She gives no thought to the way of life;
her paths are crooked, but she knows it not.”

When I read this chapter of warning, I am reminded there are characteristics of the adulteress I am to avoid as watchfully as I would the person who embodies her sensual self-indulgent lifestyle.  Contemplative reflection is a part of meditation that serves me well against this stupor of ignorance.  Those who charge ahead for what they want or feel follow their desires to the trap of consequence, never realizing it was their own will that led them to their death.  This description indirectly suggests prudence, refrain from clamoring after whimsy, quiet stillness, and a seeking of higher direction.

Today, I will pause when tempted, looking for the hand of God to guide me along His straight and true path.  I recommit myself to following the Way of Life Everlasting, and celebrate the consummate relationship I have with Immanuel Invisible.

(Supporting references: John 14:6; John 16:7, 13-15; 1 Corinthians 11:31-32)





From my reading through the Bible, currently in Jeremiah 31:

Though Israel had become like an adulterous bride, God promised restoration (verse 9) and abundant satisfaction, joy instead of sorrow (verse 13-14).  Not only so, but he reinstates His prize to a state of clean perfection though her adulteries had soiled her.

“I have loved you with an everlasting love;
I have drawn you with loving-kindness.
I will build you up again
and you will be rebuilt, O Virgin Israel.”

God expressed a paternal joy and desperate longing over the one who prayed this prayer, and I echo it with ever amen in my soul:

18b ‘You disciplined me like an unruly calf,
and I have been disciplined.
Restore me, and I will return,
because you are the Lord my God.
19 After I strayed,
I repented;
after I came to understand,
I beat my breast.
I was ashamed and humiliated
because I bore the disgrace of my youth.’”

Just as surely as the sentiments of Ephraim, God’s promise is translated to me, and I celebrate my part in the new bride of Christ, the Church of the New Covenant.

25 I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.”

31 ‘The time is coming,’ declares the Lord,
‘when I will make a new covenant…
…because they broke my covenant,
though I was a husband to[d] them,[e]
declares the Lord.”
33 “This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel
after that time,” declares the Lord.
“I will put my law in their minds
and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.”

This New Covenant I will celebrate, and on it meditate by day and night!




From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 85:

“Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God’s will into all of our activities. ‘How can I best serve Thee—Thy will (not mine) be done.’ These are thoughts which must go with us constantly.”



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