Pinnocchio and whaleAbstinent Today:

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

I had a visit with my doctor yesterday about an integrated medical approach to several recent issues, rather than separating all my various symptoms into the category that fits their respective specialty.  We discussed incorporating homeopathic remedies as part of the amends I am making to my body for the harm I have done in the past, and scaling back some of the pharmacological toxins.  She made a few suggestions (herbal, medical, and intellectual) which I will follow and discuss at greater length once I have had a chance to investigate them.

From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“Step Eleven encourages us to practice prayer, to continue talking to our Higher Power daily, even when it seems like a senseless exercise.” — The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, p. 92

As I began to read this today, in sort of a blue mood parked along the side of a road a few minutes early for a morning errand, I realized I had launched into my day without committing it to God.  Rather than finish my readings, I sat in my parked car, closed my eyes, and commenced to pray, though it seemed silly to do such a thing on the side of the road when I had been talking to God even before breakfast.  As I turned over my day, my will and my plans, I also found myself turning over some other things of which I had not let go: a two-day old resentment, a frustration over some recent health issues, and some concerns over close friends of mine, each of whom were named in this brief roadside prayer time.  As my prayers turned to one concern, it suddenly occurred to me that I could help participate in the answer, and I was moved to action.  One phone call later I was mutually lifted up by a fellow seeker of God’s will and recovery.  Prayer changed my attention; my attention changed my action; my action changed my emotion, and my whole attitude changed direction.  God doesn’t always work it that way, but today it was quite an amazing display of one of the ways “prayer changes things.”

From Proverbs 4:

Esteem her, and she will exalt you;
embrace her, and she will honor you.
She will set a garland of grace on your head
and present you with a crown of splendor.”

Isn’t it nice to look forward to something?  A crown of splendor, a garland of grace, honor and exaltation! Who would’ve thought that a guy like me might have hope of anything like that?  I intentionally left out the previous segment that identifies the person to whom such esteem is to be paid in order to receive these blessings.  To read this alone might make one hunger to know the answer to the riddle, but anyone who has ever read Proverbs or this blog for any length of time might have an advantage.  I search for her today, even now.  I pray for her company, my sister, my kin.  I hope that she would make my life her home!

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

The story of Jonah is familiar to many, but what might feel even more familiar is the problem that got him in trouble in the first place.  See how snugly this excerpted version of the first verses fits:

1 The word of the Lord came to Jonah …

But Jonah ran away from the Lord …

“…to flee from the Lord.”

So many life stories, including mine, seem to start with, “I was minding my own business, when…”  Perhaps that is a bigger problem than we admit.  Minding our own business, we neglect God’s.  Following our own way, we rebel against the way of the Great Architect of the universe.

Wait!  There’s more of this that sounds like me.  Apparently, Jonah liked to brag.  When his shipmates inquired about his profession and heritage, the text says they became afraid to find out that the god he had been telling them he was trying to outrun was the God, the Creator (vs.9-10).  I can almost recreate the conversation he must have had with the captain before paying his fare, though I must admit my version looks a lot like something from Star Wars.  “Fast ship? You’ve never heard of the Millennium Falcon?  It’s the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs.”  Can’t you just see the old prophet explaining that he’d like to avoid any divine entanglements?

But wait; there’s more!  Don’t we (and by that I mean “I” but don’t want to feel alone) like to absorb blame, turn it into hopelessness, contaminate our associates with despair, and then take a self-destructive action?  (Okay, maybe those of you who are not recovering addicts, codependents, or fellow sickos may not relate so much to that last one, but I bet more do than are willing to admit.)  Verse 12 describes this very conversion on Jonah’s ship.

12 ‘Pick me up and throw me into the sea,’ he replied, ‘and it will become calm. I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you.’”

This is the great sickness!  We run from God; we realize we are distant from God and that life is unmanageable without Him; then we turn in despair to something that takes us even deeper into isolation from God, rather than just do what He has always wanted for us to do: return to Him.   You know the rest of Jonah’s story: Kerplunk… Gulp!     What’s yours?

From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, pages 47 and 48:

“Besides a seeming inability to accept much on faith, we often found ourselves handicapped by obstinacy, sensitiveness, and unreasoning prejudice. Many of us have been so touchy that even casual reference to spiritual things made us bristle with antagonism. This sort of thinking had to be abandoned. Though some of us resisted, we found no great difficulty in casting aside such feelings. Faced with alcoholic destruction, we soon became as open minded on spiritual matters as we had tried to be on other questions. In this respect alcohol was a great persuader. It finally beat us into a state of reasonableness. Sometimes this was a tedious process; we hope no one else will prejudiced for as long as some of us were.”

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.

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