I am a recovering compulsive overeater, abstinent by the grace of God one more* day at a time. †
Ah, it’s my work-week Friday and it coincides with a calendar Friday too. This is nice!
I finished reading Spontaneous Healing by Dr. Andrew Weil yesterday. It had some good suggestions for living and being well in order to facilitate the body’s natural immune system which, he says, need only be awaken to fight off even the big threats to healthy life, which are mostly environmental. The most important changes he recommends are the lifestyle ones that eliminate our behavioral contributions to the crippling of our immune systems. At the top of the list: unhealthy eating, along with other harmful self-indulgences like tobacco and alcohol use.
From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:
“Before we joined the OA Fellowship our prayers for help might have gone unanswered simply because we were never meant to face this disease in isolation.” — The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, pp. 15-16
There is something of a gentle nobility to the way God works. He doesn’t seem willing to force His will on those who insist on asserting their own, but responds to humble submission. God’s will and mine cannot occupy the same space at the same time. So it has been with my suffering with the consequences of my eating and the teeter-totter of anxiety and remorse I rode while indulging in all sorts of emotional delicacies. No amount of begging and pleading for relief could come to me while I remained in my selfish cocoon of self-indulgent isolation. My purpose is to lovingly serve God and others (Matthew 22:36-40, Ephesians 2:8-10), and when I do that I unlock all the resources of God’s providence for my mission, including everything needed for the good mechanical condition of my physical vehicle.
From Proverbs 25:
“4 Remove the dross from the silver,
and out comes material for the silversmith”
Here is a picture of a fine craftsman who must patiently wait for the substance of his art to become ready for his work. The following verse draws a parallel between a king and his rule, but the analogy fits even those of us who do not sit on thrones and wield scepters. God did not relieve me of my burdens when I begged Him to, because the raw material of my life was still being refined. As the heat did its work, I became pliable, and my impurities rose to the top even as I sank to what I would call “the bottom.” Now, through recovery, I can see that the Silversmith is fashioning something of a reflecting mirror with the heat-purified substance my past made me become.
Continue Your work, Master Craftsman, and develop me by whatever means necessary into a productive tool for Your use. May I reflect Your life in mine!
From my reading through the Bible, currently in Mark 5:
A man possessed of a legion of demons, a faithful hemophiliac, and the father of a dead twelve-year old all have lessons for me in this chapter. I am always amused to read of Jesus’ interactions with the spiritual forces. They always recognize Him with fear and trembling, yet He does not abuse them but strictly commands them away from His protected ones. He actually gave them permission to go where they asked in this story, which caused a tragic plunge of a herd of pigs into a lake (something I just do not understand). Perhaps most applicable to me is the commission Jesus gave the man He healed of demon possession. The irony of it is that, while He allowed the demons to go where they asked, the healed man was denied his request to go with Jesus. Instead he was given a task: to spread the news (vs. 18-20).
The woman impoverished by her medical pursuit of healing who silently snuck up on Jesus to gain access to His power demonstrates both the healing power of faith, and that the faith was not the primary power at work, but it did trigger the power that went out from Jesus.
“30 At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, ‘Who touched my clothes?’”
“34 He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.’”
And the statement of the day for my own faith came when Jairus, the synagogue leader who sought Jesus out to heal his daughter, was told not to bother the teacher anymore because his little girl had already died.
“36 Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, ‘Don’t be afraid; just believe.’”
Jesus’ instruction is to choose belief over doubt and fear. I have recently been repeating in my mind verse 7 of 1 Corinthians 13 (the “Love Chapter”) that says, “7 It [love] always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” This is opposite of my nature which seems to harm, doubt, despair, and give up. Jesus’ encouragement to Jairus translates straight to me: Don’t be harmful, doubtful, desperate, and hopeless (the fruits of fear); just believe!
Father, help me to always protect, always trust, always hope, and always persevere. I can only do that with the intervention of Your divine love. In Christ Jesus’ name I ask and thank You. Amen.
From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 62:
“First of all, we had to quit playing God. It didn’t work. Next, we decided that hereafter in this drama of life, God was going to be our Director. He is the Principal; we are His agents. He is the Father, and we are His children. Most Good ideas are simple, and this concept was the keystone of the new and triumphant arch through which we passed to freedom.”
*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.