Abstinent Today:

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

Yesterday, I let the service opportunities of the day run me around, and did not get to complete my readings and writings.  It is good that I was helpful and, I believe, harmless, but I would like to find some rest sometime in this day-off cycle.  I need a Sabbath, a day of rest!  With early appointments this morning and a late meeting tonight, I think it might not come this one-day-at-a-time.




From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“Intuition is supposed to be God’s direct line into our minds and hearts, but our problems and our self-will have interfered with this connection.” — The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, p. 22

The word “intuition” rubs me the wrong way for some reason.  I think it’s because I too closely associate it with the word “hunch” or the concept of an autonomous perception, too much human and not enough recognition of the divine.    I find, among the various dictionary definitions, “direct perception of truth,” and, “a keen and quick insight.”  Both of these I find much more agreeable, having so recently emerged from a history marked by debilitating self-will and isolation.  The hunger to sense, know, and relate oneself to the Truth is what brings me to my Higher Power.  It is the Light shining within me that dispels the darkness of my past and illumines me with hope, quick or not.  When I can tune out the voices of restlessness, irritability and discontent and hear the voice of Truth, the very Word of God within me, I come alive.  It is then that I become renewed – happy, joyous, and free!





From Proverbs 17 (NLT):

Wrongdoers eagerly listen to gossip;
liars pay close attention to slander.”

At a meeting last night, I was part of a group that discussed OA’s Tenth Tradition, which mirrors, of course, that of Alcoholics Anonymous, “Overeaters Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the OA name ought never be drawn into public controversy.”  It occurred to me that, alongside the need for the rooms of recovery to be a safe place, welcoming to all who suffer and seek to stop eating compulsively, is the imperative for the occupants of such rooms to consider that the private opinions of the individual on outside issues are part of the problem and not the cure.  To stir the cauldron of boiling emotions in a roomful of hurting lives seeking to apply a spiritual solution to their comprehensive malady of compulsive eating, or any other obsession, would be like bringing a hornet’s nest into an operating room during a delicate surgery.

The Tradition states a procedure, in that it has no opinion, and a purpose, the protection of the collective reputation.  As a matter of personal “practice these principles in all our affairs” Twelfth Step application, I am reminded that, even though “what others think of me is none of my business,” the converse is true: “What I think of others is none of their business.”  We all stay safer when we keep our judgmental, self-serving opinions to ourselves.

To close today’s chapter, God, through Solomon, reminded me that it is better to keep quiet when in doubt.

28 Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent;
with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent.”




From my reading through the Bible, currently in Ezekiel 17:

God gave Ezekiel an allegory of two eagles and a vine to demonstrate the fickleness of Israel, and the error of the governor-king who rebelled against God and Babylon.  He used the same parable to demonstrate the ultimate promise, that He would break off a branch that would become His Living Vine.

23 On the mountain heights of Israel I will plant it; it will produce branches and bear fruit and become a splendid cedar. Birds of every kind will nest in it; they will find shelter in the shade of its branches. 24 All the trees of the field will know that I the Lord bring down the tall tree and make the low tree grow tall. I dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish.

‘I the Lord have spoken, and I will do it.’”

I am reminded that Christ is called the “Root of Jesse,” the “Branch of David,” and the “True Vine,” and that it took breaking Him in the Crucifixion and planting Him in a tomb in order to translate the Life that was in Him to those who would abide in Him.  Isaiah 53 is a helpful bridge to relating this allegory to Jesus the Vine in John 15.

God, I elect You King of my life, and I plant myself in You.  All my hope is in You, and my sustenance comes from You.  Fill me and empower me to do Your will, and keep me from the pitfalls of self-service.





From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 13:

“There I humbly offered myself to God, as I then understood Him, to do with me as He would. I placed myself unreservedly under His care and direction. I admitted for the first time that of myself I was nothing; that without Him I was lost. I ruthlessly faced my sins and became willing to have my new-found Friend take them away, root and branch. I have not had a drink since.”






*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.