Abstinent Today:

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

 

 

 

From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“Remembering that our goal is to develop a closer conscious contact with God, prayer is simply what we do when we talk with our Higher Power, and meditation is simply a way of stilling our minds and opening our spirits to God’s influence.” — The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, p. 93

I am grateful for Step Eleven, because it made me look at prayer and meditation both individually and together.  Prayer is the time when I translate what I feel into what I think and say, and meditation is the time when I translate what I perceive into what I will do.  When God blesses me with an exercising meditation time, I get to act on God’s value for me in movement and exertion of the body while the mind and spirit also worship.  The result of the combination is a sense of closeness with my Creator that I feel with my total being.  The experience is beyond expression, but it is as though I was totally poured out, exerted in all aspects of my own trinity – mind, spirit, and body – only to find that while empty of me I am filled all the more, even to overflowing.

 

 

 

From Proverbs 8 (NKJV):

17 I love those who love me,
And those who seek me diligently will find me.

The only difference between this translation and the NIV is the word “diligently,” but I was taken by the significance of the word.  I have had occasion to go door to door for various purposes in my past, whether as a child selling fund raisers or as a young adult canvassing for various political initiatives.  I learned there is a very big difference between knocking on a door when you don’t care if someone answers and knocking on the door of someone you desperately need or want to see.  To seek diligently is that desperately hopeful, expectant search, the kind you risk expense or detriment to count on.  The kind of expectation that gives up its ride home or other options and banks on a response is the kind that gets an answer at this door.  Wisdom speaks, in this verse, as though an extension of Christ in other places in Scripture.

“For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matthew 7:8)

“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20)

Precious Savior and Redeemer, it is with all my heart, soul and mind that I turn to You and look for You and Your Way.  I dismiss my own will, wish and way, and my own manufactured mechanisms for achieving my own satisfaction, and instead rest myself at Your door, hopeful that You will not leave me outside; but will always be there, always welcome me in, and always sustain me in Your inexhaustible hospitality.  Find the door of my heart open as well, and make Yourself at home in me.  You are welcome to all I am, have, and will become!

 

 

 

 

From my reading through the Bible,” currently in Daniel 1:

Daniel and his three friends, for some reason more familiar to us by their slave names, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, were selected from the tribes of Judah to serve in the Babylonian king’s palace, to wear royal attire, and eat from the king’s table.  Daniel’s resolve to abstain, his willingness to go without any meat at all in order to avoid the risk of eating some that might have been sacrificed to the idol gods of Babylon, and his physical proof that vegetables and water served for healthier fuel than the rich diet of the royals all factor into my own thinking quite a bit, as I work to establish my own plan of eating.

But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.”

15 At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. 16 So the guard took away their choice food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead.”

The text doesn’t credit their diet with the next statement, but I find it ironic that the understanding and learning God gave these four was subsequent to their clean fueling.  It is always nicer to let God have a clean canvass on which to create His masterpieces.

17 To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds.”

20 In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom.”

Clearly the miracle at work here in Daniel and his companions is the Spirit of God, and I wish to take nothing away from that.  There is, however, something to be said for the value of a clean vessel.  We don’t use a chamber-pot to serve the king’s wine.  For such a purpose, we use a specially crafted chalice suitable for the purpose and the person.  For such a ministry as Daniel and his companions will be called to perform, the Holy Spirit found opportunity to sanctify four moving temples for His purposes.

May He do so with me!

 

 

 

 

From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 130:

“We have found nothing incompatible between a powerful spiritual experience and a life of sane and happy usefulness.”

 

 

 

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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