I am a recovering compulsive overeater, abstinent by the grace of God one more* day at a time. †
With nearly every American eye but mine on the Super Bowl, it was easy to feel left out, but since it made for a quiet evening at work, I made the most of it and busied myself otherwise. I couldn’t help but remember Super Bowl XLIV, on February 7, 2010. I threw a food party, for which football was merely an excuse, and people filled my house to watch football, eat, and amuse themselves while I made another commitment to begin a diet again the following day. I hadn’t learned of food addiction yet, and wasn’t to discover OA for three more months, but that marked the beginning of a decline in my weight that, God willing, I will not have to repeat again. Freed from more than 145 pounds since, I now stand at a healthy body weight and celebrate God’s involvement in my life, not just in His provision, but in His deliverance from the material. Today, by the will of God and by His grace, is my one thousandth day of abstinence.*
Super Bowl, in the lives of many, is the Grand Finale of the eating season, when even the procrastinators among the New Year’s resolutionists run out of excuses; and the day after is, for many of them, like it was for me, a day of new beginning. If today is your fresh start, allow me to welcome and encourage you. None of us has to ever eat like that again! We can’t eat properly on our own, but we are never alone; God is with us always, and He cares for us and about what we eat. He will help us choose if we listen and let Him.
From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:
“Thank you, God. Thank you, OA. If it can happen for me and for countless others, it can happen for you, too.”
All I have to say about that is this: Thank you, God. Thank you, OA. If it can happen for me and for countless others, it can happen for you, too.
From Proverbs 4:
“4 he taught me and said,
‘Lay hold of my words with all your heart;
keep my commands and you will live.’”
My Heavenly Father taught me similarly, as He is teaching me now with these, the words of Solomon’s father, King David. They cry out for me to cling to them for my life.
The commands that follow in this chapter are:
- Get wisdom and understanding. (v. 5)
- Do not forsake or forget wisdom. (v. 6)
- Listen and accept instruction. (v. 10)
- Hold on to instruction. (v. 13)
- Avoid evil. (vs. 14-15)
- Pay attention. (v. 20)
- Keep the words of wisdom within your heart. (vs. 20-21)
- Above all else, guard your heart. (v. 23)
- Focus forward. (v. 25)
- Make provision for your successful journey. (vs. 26-27)
From my reading through the Bible, currently in Mark 14:
So many significant events occur in this chapter it is hard to highlight any one, but since I am studying prayer, the following seems appropriate. It is an example of Jesus praying a prayer that would not be answered the way He would have liked. I’ve had prayers denied before, and it can be a source of pain and discontent, but Jesus prayed in such a way as to negate that discontent, and I am learning to follow His model.
“35 Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. 36 ‘Abba,[Aramaic for Father] Father,’ he said, ‘everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.’”
Alone, prostrate, celebrating God’s paternity, exalting God’s magnificence, He made His petition, yet humbly submitted to the Father’s will over His. There is an urgent passion suggested in the account of Jesus prayer, not just some whispered mumblings, but a desperate plea. Elsewhere we read that His anguished struggle produced sweat like blood (Luke 22:44). I don’t believe I have ever prayed so earnestly as to sweat blood-drops, but this is an indictment on the haphazard, nonchalant prayers of the indifferent, and certainly a call to push deeper into the passion and power of God.
This ties into another event described in this chapter, the anointing of Jesus before His death. The gift given was a costly one, worth a year’s wages, poured out without measure or hesitation, a fragrant offering, the very container broken for the occasion. I do not have Jesus’ literal head or feet to anoint, and I do not have any fine bottles of perfume, but what I have I could be pouring onto Jesus with much greater passion and sacrifice. He has declared that the least of these brothers of mine are His personification on earth until He returns. How can I pour myself out onto them today? Lord, help me empty myself for You all day today!
From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 86:
“Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives.”
Pour My Love On You
Phillips, Craig, and Dean
*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.