Abstinent Today:

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

Yesterday, I made a mistake with my supper calculations.  It wasn’t abstinence-breaking, but I underestimated the calorie content of a piece of salmon and only logged it in after I was finished eating it.  I was able to change some things for the following meal and it worked out.  Today started with meetings and a flurry of chores, including a lot of the gardening I didn’t get to yesterday.  I did not get to do my devotions until late at night, and my day suffered for it.  It is amazing how this time of reading, meditating, praying and writing changes the whole color of my day.

 

 

 

From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“Sought through prayer and meditation…” — Step Eleven

As if on cue, here is a thought on prayer and meditation!  I promise, I don’t preview the texts before writing, but journal my thoughts through as I read them.  God just orchestrates it this way!

In my history, meditating was done differently than what we experience in OA.  It was more of a cognitive exercise of thinking deeply about something, what we might call “reflection.”  I have learned different types of meditation, some breathing exercises, some involve stretching or movement, and others perfect stillness.  Some are directed, others are open and empty (as possible) of human thought.  The goal of any of them, as I see it, is to turn my flesh down and spirit up, to increase my spiritual awareness, and bring it under alignment with God.   If prayer is my talking to Him, then meditation is my chance to listen, to either hear a word from Him, or to let His Word sink deep into me.

I have noticed an evolution to my prayers since coming into program.  I used to think I knew best for people.  “Heal this one.  Feed that one.  Make this one go there and that one learn to be content with the other.”  I had it all figured out, and apparently God needed me to direct His will concerning all my acquaintances.  Since I began praying “only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out,” and practicing these principles in all my affairs, my prayers for others (intercession) has taken on an Eleventh Step feel.  “Please orchestrate Your will concerning this one, and give her the awareness, willingness and power to carry it out.”  The sick, the unemployed, the bereaved, the hurting and afraid, the lost, and the lonely, they all need the same thing: knowledge of God’s will and the power to carry it out!  Everyone!  My kids, my wife, my pastor, the president, there is no one this prayer doesn’t fit.  There are times I am moved in the spirit to tears and trembling just to pray this simple prayer for someone. Those times, I can almost feel in my body the spiritual conflict of wills.  I pray for His to triumph, and for the forces of Heaven to rush to the aid of the subject to reinforce and to accomplish that good, pleasing, and perfect will.  Occasionally, I am overcome with joy to the point of laughter or even tears when, in reflection, I become aware of His majestic grace coming to someone or some situation over which I had prayed before.  It is inspiring, like taking in a full breath of God!

I imagine this all sounds as alien to one who has not had these experiences as the birds-and-bees talk does to a fourth-grader, but it is what stirs me to keep going, and helps me fulfill my role as I affirm it each morning: “warrior, priest and prince of God Almighty in the name of Jesus Christ.”

 

 

 

From Proverbs 29:

The righteous care about justice for the poor,
but the wicked have no such concern.”

Here’s something I didn’t expect: I have begun to care about people as a result of living the Twelve Steps.  I don’t claim to have any righteousness but that transferred to me by the sacrifice of Christ, but I strive for alignment with “right,” and will therefore get some on me by association.  When I was living my life for my own self-centered concerns, everyone seemed in my way.  They were obstructions, delays, obstacles.  I don’t know how or when it happened, but I have noticed that I suddenly have begun to care.

One group I cannot seem to care enough about, especially as a recovering overeater, is the hungry.  How long I have hoarded more than my share of food while others in the world starve!  Now that my eating is for the healthy fueling of my spiritual vehicle, my body, I want everybody to be able to do the same thing, to have proper physical fuel so they can turn their attention to their souls and discover the Bread of Life.  Woodrow T. Wilson said, “No one can worship God or love his neighbor on an empty stomach.”  I have proved by my own life that the stomach can tear one’s attention away from the spirit.

 

 

 

From my reading through the Bible, currently in Jeremiah 50:

The mystery continues with the pronouncement of woe against Babylon, “the arrogant one.”  While some of the prophecy sounds like it could be describing the invasion of the Persians, Greeks, or Romans that would come, there are little descriptions that rule those out as the only possible instances of fulfillment. Verses like 3, 13, 21, 26 and 29 describe Babylon as being utterly destroyed with no survivors.  That hasn’t happened yet.  Babylon was where Iraq and parts of Iran and Turkey are today.  This hints at a more thorough destruction yet to come.

This chapter did have something positive for me, as one who associates himself with the New Jerusalem, and it even follows well the topic of prayer and meditation, a seeking after God.

‘In those days, at that time,’
declares the Lord,
‘the people of Israel and the people of Judah together
will go in tears to seek the Lord their God.
They will ask the way to Zion
and turn their faces toward it.
They will come and bind themselves to the Lord
in an everlasting covenant
that will not be forgotten.’”

 

 

 

From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 87:

“We usually conclude the period of meditation with a prayer that we be shown all through the day what our next step is to be, that we be given whatever we need to take care of such problems. We ask especially for freedom from self-will, and are careful to make no request for ourselves only. We may ask for ourselves, however, if others will be helped. We are careful never to pray for our own selfish ends. Many of us have wasted a lot of time doing that and it doesn’t work. You can easily see why.”

 

 

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

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