I am a recovering compulsive overeater, abstinent by the grace of God one more* day at a time. †
Today is the day I normally whisk around the house getting all things ready for several twelve-hour work shifts in a row which begin tomorrow, but today I will have to do it in the midst of others who are off for Presidents’ Day. The only thing stranger than having a holiday called Presidents’ Day is that we used to have two of them in February: the separately observed birthdays of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Those two always made me wonder what is greater: to build a thing up or to hold it together when all threatens to tear it apart? I am grateful for both of them, as I am equally grateful for Ronald Reagan, whose birthday was also in February, on the sixth. I am also grateful for the fact that, when I do get back to work tomorrow, I will have an extra holiday banked because this one fell on my regular day off.
From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:
Acceptance of myself and acceptance of the fact that there are certain aspects of my character which are defective, does not mean that I am to accept that I am defective, or that my defects will never be removed. It means that I can take stock of what, where, who, and how I am right now and recognize that the Creator has made me, He has declared me valuable, and He can restore me to sanity and useful purpose if I follow His will. I do not and cannot assume that defective character traits are here to stay. To do so is to welcome them within me. By accepting that I have held them, I can release my grip on them and allow God to remove them in His timing. I can accept that I have been harmful without making accommodations for my harmful behavior.
From Proverbs 18:
“17 The first to present his case seems right,
till another comes forward and questions him.”
All disputing is not sin. Some of it corrects error and keeps others from going astray. Whether I publicly question the first or merely question a speaker or author in my head, acquiring knowledge requires discernment to keep in tune with the purposes and wisdom of God. This is especially important when so much of my reading and hearing comes from fellows in recovery, all seeking a new way, and none of them perfect. All such must be weighed against the teaching of the One who is perfect.
This jumped out at me especially because of the VOR entry today, which I found to be contrary to the intent of the referenced quote (shown in context below). It had me criticizing myself as argumentative until this proverb affirmed that cross-examination is healthy when done properly.
From my reading through the Bible, currently in Luke 12:
“22 Then Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23 Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.”
“31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
32 Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
We do tend to prefer the commandments with observable responses to the mental ones like “do not worry” and “do not be afraid,” but in these there appears to be a lesson that where the mind is tied up, the spirit will be bound and the physics of this world will disappoint. The great promise contained here is one of provision for the Spirit-seeker. None who put the Kingdom of Heaven first will go without. He even clothes the lilies and feeds the ravens!
There was this note about judgment and interpretation which I found congruent with the rest of my devotion:
“56 Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky. How is it that you don’t know how to interpret this present time?
57 Why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right?”
And this exhortation to constant readiness:
“40 You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”
“Real humility about our character defects carries with it acceptance. We accept that each defect, as painful to us as it may be, is a part of who we are. With humble acceptance we can quietly say to our Higher Power, ‘I am this way, and only with your help can I change.’
“On the other side of the coin, humility means that we aren’t smug when a defect which has long been a part of our lives is removed; we’re genuinely relieved. We recognize our release from the defect as a miracle, evidence of the power of God’s healing love, and we are honestly grateful.”
*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.