WakeUpCall iPhoneAbstinent 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:

“After working through all Twelve Steps, my result would be to have a spiritual awakening. It would not be one of a number of results, it would be THE result.  … From that, everything I need in life will follow.”

Have you ever tried desperately to stay awake when everything in you wanted to fall asleep?  I’ve been like that the last couple days – slapping my own face, shaking my head like a dog, opening car windows for the blast of cold air.  The founders of the Christian Church had that problem too.  On the night He was betrayed, Jesus begged His closest friends to stay up and pray, but He was repeatedly disappointed to find them sleeping instead.  He cautioned them saying, “The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”  (Matthew 26:41, Mark 14:38 His rebuke described well my own condition, and cause for concern.  The nature of the flesh is weakness, even when our spirits are willing.

Our spirits tend to fall asleep, especially when we give preference to the body.  When we let ourselves do what we want or feel like, we become desensitized to our spirit and unavailable to God’s Spirit.  Spiritual awakening is the goal and purpose of the Twelve Steps, and the reason for daily repetition is that our whole selves need that reawakening regularly to defeat that natural tendency of our human spirits to fall asleep.

In the Bible, there are many instances of equality between sleep and death. (ref)   This thought gives extra urgency to the need for awakening.

From Proverbs 1:

19 Such is the end of all who go after ill-gotten gain;
it takes away the lives of those who get it.”

Whether following the will of the sinful nature leads to piracy, gang violence, or just self-degradation through a lifetime of compulsive eating, buying the satisfaction of the whims of fancy comes at the cost of our very life – spiritual first and then physical.

From my reading through the Bible,” currently in Amos 6 and 7:

6:1 Woe to you who are complacent … and to you who feel secure…”

Verses 3 through 6 describe various prideful self-indulgences.

 “Therefore you will be among the first to go into exile;
your feasting and lounging will end.”

In Chapter 7, Amos was given visions of Israel’s destruction by locust and fire, but when he prayed, God relented.  (God’s demonstration of such willingness to listen to a man inspired me to pray more.)  Finally, he was shown a plumb line, a tool for measuring true alignment.  With this perfect measure, God’s judgment was revealed.

8b Then the Lord said, ‘Look, I am setting a plumb line among my people Israel; I will spare them no longer.’”

It won’t be locusts or fire that brings about the spiritual death of mankind, but the ravaging, insatiable appetites they represent – the relentless human drive to get all he can and disregard all around him.  In order that we might recognize our faults, One was set among us who was perfectly True, who showed the Way to Life.  It was Immanuel – God With Us, who is the plumb line of Amos’ vision; and by Him all men will be tested.  None will measure true, but through Him the measure of grace will be revealed to those who take Him, and the walls that slant to their own wills, that have sagged to their own way, will no longer be spared.  With the Word of God, the Spirit’s “sword” of verse 9, the Lord will rise against the prideful and selfish.

Amos did what was contrary to what I’m sure he wanted, and relayed this message faithfully, though it made him unpopular.  The priest of Bethel tried to exile him because of his message and, in so doing, cursed his own life.

From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 133:

“We are convinced that a spiritual mode of living is a most powerful health restorative. We, who have recovered from serious drinking, are miracles of mental health. But we have seen remarkable transformations in our bodies.”


*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.