Abstinent Today:

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

It’s back to work today.  I am fighting with a little self-pity that revolves around my selfish expectations at home.  Part of me feels justified in expecting the family to come together or at least acknowledge that I am home on those rare occasions when my twelve-hour shifts allow it.  The other part of me knows that I am not the center of the universe on any day of any week, and I would be better off just to get busy helping those with whom I do have contact, rather than whine about those with whom I expect it.

 

 

From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“Just as a sponsor is not responsible for the sponsoree’s disease, neither are we responsible for her or his recovery.” — A Guide for Sponsors, p. 12

Precious little of the recovery I enjoy has come from my sponsor telling me what to do.  It has come from God showing me what to do, often by making me teachable while I listen to my sponsor describe what he has done.   Having grown-up children has taught me a lot about sponsoring, because the two are similar.  I cannot be directive when it comes to children, because it is the nature of an adult to rebel and resist.  I find that my role is more like that of a cheerleader, praising from the sidelines any progress they make in their game.  I am an interested and invested observer, but I am not a player in anyone’s game but my own.  Even when I come across the newcomer who just wants someone to tell them what to do, I find that showing them how to play the game is much more effective than sitting someone down with a book on football expecting them to come away with the rudiments mastered.

A statement I learned in these rooms has served me well: “I am no one’s higher power!”  Another one has helped me explain away disappointment when I was not immediately accessible in someone’s time of need and helps to reinforce the importance of prayer: “Go to the throne instead of the phone!”

 

 

 

From Proverbs 20 (NLT):

Who can say, ‘I have cleansed my heart;
I am pure and free from sin’?

10 False weights and unequal measures[a]
the Lord detests double standards of every kind.”

When I read about differing weights and measures I usually think of my kitchen experiences, rounding instead of leveling or underestimating size so I can report “one sweet potato” and conceal the fact that it was enormous.  These two verses combined, however, point to the hypocrisy that has been on my mind the last few weeks.  The disciple whose character is marked by integrity does not use a set of measuring devices for himself and another set for others.  In fact, the nature of grace makes the use of measuring tools obsolete in the first place.  Still, we tend to size each other up and, for some reason, are content to view ourselves through the fun-house mirror that makes us look the best.

Let me take this opportunity to say that I am not free from sin, and purity is something I crave but which has eluded me.  Though I pray, in faith believing, that God will “Cleanse me with hyssop and I will be clean; wash me and I will be whiter than snow,” (Psalm 51:7) I am well aware that my transfiguration will occur in a twinkling of an eye while in transit from this clay earth to the Heaven of which I am a citizen.  Until then, I am being cultivated into a likeness of righteousness by God’s sanctification, like the washing of badly stained crockery in water.

 

 

 

From my reading through the Bible, currently in Ezekiel 21 and 22:

In Chapter 21, God describes His ultimate wrath and commands Ezekiel to prophesy against Jerusalem’s sanctuary another blow by His sword, Babylon.  The language makes me wonder if the second wave of exile, which did occur, was all this prophesy addresses.  Perhaps Babylon (modern-day Iraq) has been prepared for another similar day of destruction yet to come.

‘Therefore groan, son of man! Groan before them with broken heart and bitter grief. And when they ask you, ‘Why are you groaning?’ you shall say, ‘Because of the news that is coming. Every heart will melt and every hand go limp; every spirit will become faint and every knee become as weak as water.’ It is coming! It will surely take place, declares the Sovereign Lord.’”

Chapter 22 has more description of the rebellion of God’s children and His wrath to follow.  They are compared to the dross material leftover when silver is refined in a furnace, and the blazes of a furnace are promised to them.  He portrays the lack of integrity in Israel’s priests as “violence” against Him.  It makes me think about how I might have watered down God’s message in order to make it more marketable according to my own way or wish.

26 Her priests do violence to my law and profane my holy things; they do not distinguish between the holy and the common; they teach that there is no difference between the unclean and the clean…”

Chapter 22 closes with God’s disappointed search for an intercessor.  My mind recalls a few occasions when God looked for one righteous man in a town and did not find him.

30 “I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none. 31 So I will pour out my wrath on them and consume them with my fiery anger, bringing down on their own heads all they have done, declares the Sovereign Lord.”

Exalted Father, may the town in which You find me be blessed because of me and not cursed.  May You remove from me my defects so that others might be helped in their journey to find You, and may I be faithful to represent You accurately without holding back.  May I not be guilty of white-washing the sins of mankind or the truth of Your holiness.  Thank You for accepting me as I am in Your grace, but in Your holiness, refusing to leave me that way.  Wash me and make me useful in Your service, in Christ’s name I pray.  Amen!

 

 

 

 

From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, from “He Had To Be Shown”:

“The very simple program they advised me to follow was that I should ask to know God’s will for me for that one day, and then, to the best of my ability, to follow that, and at night to express my gratefulness to God for the things that had happened to me during the day.”

 

 

 

 

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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