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:
“Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon OA unity.” — Tradition One
Whose personal recovery? Mine? Theirs? The newcomer who got caught in the crossfire? Yes, yes, and YES! I have witnessed some discord in group conscience and intergroup meetings that caused division, and I have heard stories of other intergroup conferences that disintegrated over conflict. When I first heard of the concept of service bodies meeting, I thought it must be difficult for so many recovering self-will addicts to come upon a common conclusion to any matter. I remember sitting in a dark meeting room once, while several of us debated over whether to turn on the lights. Finally someone who was oblivious to the discussion turned on the lights as they walked in the room, and our problem was instantly solved. The last one in wasn’t trying to get his way, he just recognized that we were all sitting in the dark. It is amazing to see how the human wills do battle over the silliest of things. When we put first our common welfare, not his, hers, or mine, but ours, we find an ability to set aside personal interest without feeling robbed or put out. When recovery finds us, we are given the joy of discovering these as opportunities to spend ourselves in service of others.
God, help me give of myself freely, without grumbling, keeping track, or holding grudges. You made me for service (Ephesians 2:10); grant me the joy today of living my purpose in every expenditure of myself. May You be honored in the process!
From Proverbs 5:
“20 Why be captivated, my son, by an adulteress?
Why embrace the bosom of another man’s wife?”
Why indeed! The promises of the tempter are empty and fleeting, disappearing with the next glance. Captivity to anything is not pleasant. Why would one offer himself to be captivated by anything that tempts beyond the limits of home, health or established boundaries of any kind? The kisses of an adulteress are counterfeit, holding nothing but empty promise. No matter how fun she is to look at, she isn’t yours. Similarly, chocolate is not “bliss,” and while you may “deserve a break today,” you don’t always get to “have it your way” and you don’t have to “obey your thirst.” The tempter comes in more packages than just a red dress or blue jeans. Sometimes the tempter comes in cellophane or foil. Self-denial means keeping all my senses and my thoughts on what is mine, keeping the mental bird safely in its cage. No wandering and no flights of fancy! That’s how stray birds get trapped.
Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will, God! Keep my mind at home where it belongs.
From my reading through the Bible, currently in Matthew 13:
“9 He who has ears, let him hear.”
“13 This is why I speak to them in parables:
‘Though seeing, they do not see;
though hearing, they do not hear or understand.
14 In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:
“‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.
15 For this people’s heart has become calloused;
they hardly hear with their ears,
and they have closed their eyes.’[Isaiah 6:9,10]”
“35 So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet:
‘I will open my mouth in parables,
I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world.’[Psalm 78:2]”
“49 This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous.”
God bestows the key to understanding on those who ask for it. Man’s responsibility is to soften his heart and become obedient to the little he has heard and understood, so that the Spirit may work in and through him to build more understanding and life more abundant.
May Holy Spirit be so at home in me that Her mysteries are made known, that I would both hear and know, but more importantly live out their truths, so that other ears and eyes may be opened, to the glory of Christ the King!
From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 62:
“Above everything, we alcoholics must be rid of this selfishness. We must, or it kill us! God makes that possible. And there often seems no way of entirely getting rid of self without His aid.”
*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.