I am a recovering compulsive overeater, abstinent by the grace of God one more* day at a time. †
Whew! That was one busy work-week, and it was only three days! I’m glad to rejoin family for a few days off together, today and tomorrow particularly.
From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:
“Sponsors, OA friends, meetings, and literature are wonderful sources of help for us. We wouldn’t want to be without any of these resources because we often find God speaks to us through them.” — The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, p. 98
October marked a year since I returned to a twelve-hour evening shift, and during that year I have missed a lot of meetings that I would normally attend. I try to stay connected with my OA fellows through email, talk and text, and in whatever meetings I can make, but I have learned the difference between life with regular, consistent meetings and life without, and much prefer community. Oddly enough, even when I am not where I want to be, God shows up, and He often talks to me through the least likely mouths, often the one near me I am most despising at the time, teaching me again the lessons of patience and acceptance along with whatever message He brings me through the unexpected encounter.
From Proverbs 29:
“19 A servant cannot be corrected by mere words;
though he understands, he will not respond.”
I have proved this over and over again. How many times have I heard the healthy advice that would have saved me from the disease of compulsive eating had I heeded it? Once I even cried in prayer asking what to do, and immediately my six year-old daughter walked up to me an handed me a heart-shaped piece of paper that said, “Eat healthy stuff.” When I asked why, she said she just felt like she was supposed to give me that. I still kept eating to suit myself and even stole coins from her bank to raid the candy vending machines in the building next to our house. Responding to the words takes something more attention-getting that just the words. For me, it took God knocking me off my skeleton in a devastating but recoverable knee injury. That was the catalyst that began my creep toward seeking recovery. Some folks say, “You have to hit bottom,” but I think that bottom is wherever the bounce is – where the level of dissatisfaction (or pain) is sufficient to overcome the self-indulgent will. This servant was as hard-headed as I was mushy-middled. Wouldn’t it be nice to be teachable without having to endure such hardships as some of us do?
God, as I offer myself to You today, I offer You my pliability. Teach me something new to do, and help me to do it. In other words, give me another level of Your will for me and the power to carry that out.
From my reading through the Bible, currently in Matthew 6:
In this chapter, as Jesus continues His “sermon on the mount”, he promotes the invisible qualities of the Heavenly realm over those of the physical. The things unseen by man are the things valued by the unseen Heavenly Father. Good deeds, charity, prayer, forgiveness, fasting, treasuries, and worry over material things, are all addressed with repeated instructions to favor the invisible, the pure, the Heavenly.
While there are several instructions for the one who would please God, including the familiar “Lord’s Prayer” (vs. 9-13) there are also several descriptions of our Creator that can be applied to our limited understanding of Him. First, He sees what is done in secret (vs. 4, 6, 18). Second, He has rewards to give (vs. 4, 6, 18). Next, He withholds rewards from those who are motivated by selfish gain (vs. 1, 2, 5, 16). Then, there is His omniscient provision to meet our needs, even the material ones (vs. 8, 26, 32-33). He is forgiving to those who forgive, and He is not to those who hold grudges (vs. 14-15). Last, and certainly not least, God stands as opposite a priority to the material world and all its lucre as light is to darkness (vs. 21-25)
“23 But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
24 No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.”
This earthly life then, is a training ground, a wandering in the wilderness, so to speak, where humans can learn to live according to the spiritual nature and neglect the carnal. It is a lifetime lesson of regard and disregard. What will attract my attention? To what will I give my eyes? Will I darken the lamp of my body with the worries and concerns of those who fear they will not have enough food, clothing, shelter, or will I trust in the unseen Father of Light, and go about filled with His Spirit for Spirit purposes? Oh, the distractions we place before our eyes! How many movies and banquets and games and frivolities have distracted me from the hungry and hurting only minutes away?
Help me, Papa, to be more caring and sharing! Ignite Your fire in me and dispel the darkness within.
From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 14:
“Simple, but not easy; a price had to be paid. It meant destruction of self-centeredness. I must turn in all things to the Father of Light who presides over us all.”
*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.