Abstinent Today:

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

Yesterday I had an opportunity that a year or two ago I would have passed, but which I am really happy to have enjoyed.  A friend called me as I was waking and asked if I would like to go out of town for a day trip to an exciting event.  Like lightning through my head, thoughts of food plans and missed OA meetings stormed my brain, but just as quickly they cleared away and I heard myself say, “I’m in!”  My precious bride and I travelled to meet my friend and we spent the day enjoying sights and being together.  The setting was one dotted with forbidden foods, but I trusted God, and He provided me a way to eat according to my general plan of eating, though I was not allowed to see enough ahead to plan specifics.  This kind of unknown would have put me in a tailspin like a Kansas tornado not so long ago.  Praise God I made it, and had a great, clear, sunny day with my wife and my friend!

 

 

From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“If abstinence is a gift, then who is the giver? Obviously, it is my loving Higher Power.”

heart giftAbstinence as an attitude of self-denial is like the key to a passageway through which I walk into a freer, more peaceful and loving life.  There is another passageway I sometimes take on days when I refuse to accept the gifted key, a counterfeit one of begrudged compliance.  When I go through this door hinged on pride, my life feels heavier, darker, lonelier, and I spend my energy on trying not to explode into fits of my various character defects while maintaining my food abstinence by muscle, shredding mercy under the weight of the burden like grain under a miller’s wheel.  Those are “diet days” when, though compliant with a plan of eating, I forfeit all the serenity of recovery, for a mirage of self-sufficiency.  The gateway of authentic abstinence is much better, and I enjoy entering in by that way to the gardens of joy God intends for me, spending the energy He supplies on others rather than on my warped sense of self and the phantom of control that still flirts for my attention.

Today, I accept the gift, and look forward to spending my day with God and on His children.

 

From Proverbs 27:

19 As water reflects a face,
so a man’s heart reflects the man.”

The heart of this man has been revealed to be one of at least two passageways, a choice to be made daily.  There are other intersections too, each crossing vessel a choice between free-flowing grace toward a happy destiny or the drudging ooze through the constricting darkness of despair.  I long to be a man of one track, one path, no choices, just life of integrity – wholeness, wellness, completeness.  I know it doesn’t start by refusing to make choices, but by making the right one at the moment I am living now and pushing through to whatever comes next.  I choose life, love, forgiveness and service!

 

 

 

From my reading through the Bible, currently in Mark 7:

You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men.”

Walking according to the rules and ways of men is very much like trudging the road of begrudged compliance.  It is doing the dos and abstaining from the don’ts but there is no power in it, and it does not please God.  Faithful obedience to God’s command is a good thing, but begrudged compliance with the religious customs set by man pleases no one.  The latter fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah quoted by Jesus:

They worship me in vain;
their teachings are but rules taught by men.’[Isaiah 29:13]

Jesus continued to amaze even as He is amazing today.

36 Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone. But the more he did so, the more they kept talking about it. 37 People were overwhelmed with amazement. ‘He has done everything well,’ they said. ‘He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.’”

Emmanuel, walk with me as I walk with You.  Make me whole, unified under You, and glorify Yourself in my life.

 

 

From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, pages 50 and 51:

“Once confused and baffled by the seeming futility of existence, they show the underlying reasons why they were making heavy going of life. Leaving aside the drink question, they tell why living was so unsatisfactory. They show how the change came over them. When many hundreds of people are able to say that the consciousness of the Presence of God is today the most important fact of their lives, they present a powerful reason why one should have faith.”

 

 

 

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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