Abstinent Today:

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

As I looked back last night over the preceding 24 hours, I tried to find the choice points where I turned wrong.  The first one was in not preparing for my hurried day by intentionally awakening in time to do my devotions.  I said my typical prayers, but I said them on the fly and I did not stop and listen to God’s message for me.  I devoted my day to God and even remembered to pray my way into an uncharacteristically adversarial business meeting, although I lost (or gave away) my temper anyway, although not in the outrageous manner I might have had I not bathed my attendance in prayer.  That meeting was the second choice point where I veered from serene love.  Others were when my special plans, which I gave priority over my routine plans, fell through and I was left trying to put back together the things I must finish even while stewing over the loss of the things for which I had hoped.  (I missed another opportunity to join a Christian Yoga class, but used the missed opportunity as a chance to makeup my missed morning gym workout.)  In the middle of the darkest fury of my day, just after leaving the business meeting, I was grasping at peace in the beauty of a moment, and God showed me a reflection of His glory in this, His creation: I was traveling over a bridge in town, enjoying the sparkling lightshow as the sun’s rays danced on the passing water below.  As my car ascended the upgrade of the bridge, an American Bald Eagle soared just overhead, flew toward me, and then turned in the sun just above me so that I got the full view of the majestic sun-warmed creature.  I was reminded that I exist among God’s creation between beauty and beauty if only I will see it.

 

 

From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

one day at a time clock“Sometimes, today is as much as I can handle. As the pamphlet says, ‘I can do things for one day that I couldn’t begin to think of doing for any length of time, not even one more day.’”

Days like yesterday remind me that I cannot live even a whole day at a time any more than I can make myself healthy or cause the oceans to turn purple.  I can take the next breath; I can put down the fork; I can bite my lip and count to one, but I am not promised a ten-count or even a two.  So I must live the best moment, powered by this one breath that I am taking now, to the glory of God the Father, who breathes into me that very lungful of life.  Any more than that is vanity. (James 4:13-16)

With God’s peace and provision, I can make plans and formulate options for one day at a time.  I can commit to abstinence one day at a time.  And I can commit my life to God each new day, for His compassions “are new every morning.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)

 

 

 

From Proverbs 31:

15 She gets up while it is still dark;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her servant girls.”

The bride of Christ endures inconvenience in order to facilitate good stewardship, even getting up early when necessary.  That stings today in remembrance of yesterday.

God, I thank You for today, and I offer it back to You.  Along with my life, I lay yesterday’s failures at Your feet.  Please forgive them and use them to build me into a better tool moving forward.  In Christ Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen!

 

 

From my reading through the Bible, currently in Mark 10:

29 ‘I tell you the truth,’ Jesus replied, ‘no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel 30 will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.’”

43b ‘…whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’”

In between teaching about hardened hearts and traditions of men that were inconsistent with the perfect will of God, welcoming children and identifying them as the stuff of Heaven, counseling a rich addict of more, and miraculously healing a blind man, Jesus gave these separate statements, which seem to build on one another.  They seem to say humility is required, but nothing sacrificed for Christ and His gospel will stand as loss, but will be repaid and even multiplied to the giver.   It says this is true both in this life and the next, but warns that with blessings come persecutions.

I don’t consider anything I have given You, Lord, lost, but Your mercy and provision have been ample blessing which I enjoy.  Show me now and again what else I can give up for You.

 

 

 

From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, “The Doctor’s Opinion”:

“The only relief we have to suggest is entire abstinence.”

 

 

 

 

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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