Abstinent Today:

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

I didn’t make a hibernation day out of today like I had hoped.  Quite the opposite.  I hit the ground running and didn’t stop until now at the review of my day.   At this writing it is 10pm, and much of my morning routine has got put off till now, and even this threatens to be brief.

 

 

 

From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“…we could ‘act as if.’ This didn’t mean we were to be dishonestly pious or pretend we believed in God when we didn’t. It meant we were free to set aside theological arguments and examine the idea of spiritual power…” — The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, p. 14

I think many of us are afraid to try to deal with God in a manner that suits us because we are afraid our best still won’t be good enough.  Some of us have fashioned an idea of God in our heads that is so big, uncaring, or otherwise occupied that we hesitate to “bother” Him with our concerns, convinced He could never care for us.  Then there are those of us who are embittered by something we consider God’s fault – a loss, an unanswered prayer, an injustice that, to our perception, seems unchecked.  “How could a God who is supposed to be righteous and loving allow this or that?” we demand with a grudge.

This is where “act as if” was important to me.  I realized that, while I possessed a book-knowledge of God that well equipped me for those “theological arguments,” I had resisted an intimate relationship with Him because I fit into all three of those categories.  I could preach expertly on grace, I just couldn’t accept it or reflect it.  My pain had fermented into bitterness and the fumes of fear filled my character with rancor.  I had to peel back a little of what I was convinced I knew about God.   I peeled away the death angel part of Him that had robbed me of five nieces and/or nephews before their birth.  I peeled away the disappointment of that day on my knees in the hospital waiting room.  I peeled away the demands I had made for plush accommodations I thought I deserved.  Much more acting as if was required to come to a place where God and I could just be, and I would be comfortable with Him, and He with me, and we could just love each other.  As I came to trust Him in Step Two, the relationship deepened enough for the exchange of wills and life.  I gave Him mine, and He gave me His.  I haven’t been the same since!

 

 

 

 

From Proverbs 16 (NLT):

26 It is good for workers to have an appetite;
an empty stomach drives them on.”

I thought of this verse yesterday when I was writing, “Do I crave knowledge and wisdom, or am I preoccupied with the trash?”  Hunger serves a purpose – it makes me strive for what I need.  Most of us compulsive overeaters don’t really know what hunger is, because we have habitually confused it with craving.  Just as I can learn to shut off the power of craving, I can recognize that true hunger is a form of communication with myself.  It serves as notice that something is lacking.

My spirit hungers too, and it is this spiritual hunger and thirst that is sated by the infusion of God’s real presence with and in me.  Long have I wished for the benefits of such a companion and counselor, but resisted Him for fear of failure or rejection.  Afraid He would not love me, I wouldn’t give Him the opportunity, until my hunger for Him outgrew my need to get my way.

 

 

Footnotes:

*Abstinence began for me on May 11th, 2010.

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

In order to get a fresh perspective, I switched from using the New International Version (NIV or “NIV1984”) to a version I have not used before, the New Living Translation (NLT), just for this month’s reading of Proverbs.  I normally avoid switching, because it confuses my attempts at memorization, but I thought it might shed light on the old truths from a different angle and exercise my willingness with a little change.

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