Abstinent Today:

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

My abstinence survived the carnival atmosphere in which I worked yesterday, even when someone mentioned a batter-fried candy the name of which had nostalgic appeal from when poison was a main staple for me.  I wasn’t nearly as repulsed as I should have been, given what I  have come to believe about food and God’s providence, but I did recoil as from a flickering but amusing gently-burning flame.

Why do I flirt so with disaster?

 

 

 

From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“All of this experience, knowledge, and help is augmented by a source of wisdom inside us that becomes more powerful as we recover from compulsive eating and develop our relationship with our Higher Power through prayer and meditation.” — The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, p. 22

Self-serving indulgence drowns out God’s voice just as sin separates us from Him.  When we invite the Spirit of Truth to take charge of our life and to become our Way, the longing we once had that we misinterpreted as cravings for substance, behavior or thrill is finally satisfied.  When that new Life takes root in us, the relationship with God flourishes and the voice of Truth becomes like that of our closest friend.  As with any friendship, I need to spend time in communication with God in order to keep our relationship healthy.  When the friendship breaks down or grows cold, there is no question which one of us is responsible for the distance between us, and it is up to me to come back to Him.

 

 

 

From Proverbs 4 (NKJV):

Get wisdom! Get understanding!
Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth.”

14 Do not enter the path of the wicked,
And do not walk in the way of evil.
15 Avoid it, do not travel on it;
Turn away from it and pass on.”

I was still thinking about yesterday’s brush with temptation in harm’s way as I read this.  It’s painful honesty time!  When I became aware that I would be confined to working around carnival food yesterday, I prayerfully prepared myself.  Resolved, I thought I was immune, but at one point someone mentioned the disgusting concoction that I mentioned earlier.  Momentarily, a thought flashed through my mind: such a treat might be worth breaking my abstinence just once.

It’s a good thing I gained experience with many failed attempts at smoking cessation before I was delivered years ago.  Yes, I said it was a good thing!  I am grateful for this pain in my past.  That pain brought to mind the bitterness of so many mornings after momentary compromise led to relapse.  I did not forget the way I always justified having another since I had ruined my abstinence the day before, and how one momentary decision eroded away all reason until there was nothing left but re-enslavement to a three pack a day habit.  Every failed diet fell to the same timber-cry, “forget it, I’m eating!”  Turning away from wisdom, forsaking knowledge, even if only for an instant, exposes me to the way of evil.

 

 

 

 

 

From my reading through the Bible,” currently in Ezekiel 38 and 39:

These chapters are prophecy against Gog, mentioned only two places in the Bible – here and again in Revelation 20:8, in John’s vision of Armageddon, armies of evil marching against the Kingdom of God and falling to their doom.  Here, one might contend that the reference is historical, referring to the actual prince of Scythia and the nomadic hordes of the ancient Middle-East.  One might even infer from the nature of the texts that those tribes were merely a human articulation of a more timeless spiritual force, and that the reference in Revelation might only be of a spiritual battle.  Others might even put those theories together and deduce that the same spiritual force that rose itself up in the ancient hordes will appear again in a new army, one that seems bent on inflicting harm to the seemingly helpless and unaware self-indulgent, in need of God’s correction.  (38:10-12)  Whatever the case, the text of these chapters make a few things clear.  First, that God has enemies, and He will deal with them according to their enmity with Him. (38:3)  Second, that God has and/or will use these hordes of evil as a corrective hand against His own inheritance to bring about His ultimate purposes. (38:16)  And third, that His ultimate end will be the restoration of His people to Himself – relationship with the children of His Promise, to the glory and honor of His name.

39:27 When I have brought them back from the nations and have gathered them from the countries of their enemies, I will show myself holy through them in the sight of many nations.”

God, I regret the times I have, by my action or inaction, aligned myself in enmity with You.  I thank You for calling me toward correction and for facilitating my return to Your Kingdom.  Grant that I would honor You by lighting the way for others to follow.  Engage me as an asset for Your holiness and forbid that I should ever be a liability.  In other words, “Take away my difficulties that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy power, Thy love, and Thy way of life.  May I do Thy will always!” (from the Third Step Prayer of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 63)

 

 

 

 

From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, “Bill’s Story”:

“No words can tell of the loneliness and despair I found in that bitter morass of self-pity. Quicksand stretched around me in all directions. I had met my match. I had been overwhelmed. Alcohol was my master. Trembling, I stepped from the hospital a broken man. Fear sobered me for a bit. Then came the insidious insanity of that first drink…”

 

 

 

 

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 shed light on the old truths from a different angle and exercise my willingness with a little change, I switched from using the New International Version (NIV or “NIV1984”) to the New King James Version (NKJV) just for this month’s reading of Proverbs.  

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