I am a recovering compulsive overeater, abstinent by the grace of God one more* day at a time. †
Today is a work-week Monday for me, though it is Saturday for the rest of the world. I have a position in a service body that expects my attendance, and my work schedule prohibits it more often than it allows. It shames me a little, although I know it is out of my control. Those who count on me are harmed only in that they have to take extra steps to get from me what they need. Today, my precious bride is shouldering some of my responsibility, representing me at the meeting I will miss. I think that constitutes harm, since I am placing my burden on someone I should be protecting and for whom I should be providing. I would step out of the service position, but it is an annual commitment which ends this Spring. I have the same issue with the regional committee on which I sit, except at that one no one is harmed by my absence. Surely there must be service opportunities for which my consistent physical attendance is not critical!
From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:
“While I am in recovery, abstaining and working the Steps, my disease is with me, waiting for an opportunity to tempt me back into self-destruction. Long-term abstinence and recovery give me good habits to fall back on in times of pain and exhaustion, but they are not enough.”
When Satan exhausted his efforts at tempting Jesus, the Bible says he went away to seek another opportunity (Luke 4:13). He and my disease do the same thing: abuse me all they can, as long as I entertain them, then wait for a moment of weakness to begin again. The only way I know of to defeat this repeated attack is to resist rather than receive the attention of the tempter. It goes back to regard and disregard. What will I regard today? God’s provision and purpose!
From Proverbs 9:
“13 The woman Folly is loud;
she is undisciplined and without knowledge.”
It takes a lot sometimes to disregard such a voice as Folly, as in-your-face as she tends to be. Her disciples and the song that leads them on are everywhere. On the television, in the radio, and along every street and walkway are the messages of temptation and the people who blindly follow them. I found myself aching for those I observed in the market yesterday as I prepared for the work-week. I decided the best thing I can do is to be considerate, cheerful and caring, and yet separate myself from their indulgences; to regard the people but disregard the call to join them in their folly. I have to be careful not to lapse into judgmentalism, and this verse reminds me that I should “forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
From my reading through the Bible, currently in Luke 3:
“21 When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened 22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: ‘You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.’”
It has always interested me that Jesus would be baptized, since I always understood baptism as a washing away of sin. But Jesus defended this as proper “to fulfill all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15). As soon as He did, the Holy Spirit came on Him. Luke makes a point to include in this account a genealogy that traces Jesus’ line all the way back to “Adam, the son of God” (v. 38) Perhaps this explains the need for Jesus’ baptism. Son of God but born of man, Jesus participated in the sacrament that symbolizes the washing away of the man-influence, the sinful nature, the “flesh,” and at once was anointed by the Spirit who came in visible physical form, and was publicly acknowledged by the Father. This is a pattern to be followed!
Father, “cleanse me with hyssop and I will be clean; wash me and I will be whiter than snow.” Make a place in me suitable for Your Spirit, and dwell there. I invite You in by the work and in the name of Jesus, who loves me and died for me.
From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 85:
“It is easy to let up on the spiritual program of action and rest on our laurels. We are headed for trouble if we do, for alcohol is a subtle foe. We are not cured of alcoholism. What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition.”
*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.