I am a recovering compulsive overeater, abstinent by the grace of God one more* day at a time. †
The themes in the two meetings I attended today were surrender and resistance, which I thought was ironic, considering that they are virtually the flip side of one another. It helped me to think of resistance as that which impedes the flow of progress. I pictured myself as a colander or one of those sink straining screens. The more resistance I demonstrate, the more filth I end up carrying, and when that becomes the normal habit, nothing can get past me and I begin to overflow with the filth I am carrying. It is much better for me to practice surrender, a turning over and dumping out regularly so that whatever comes can flow straight through unimpeded by harbored resentments and disappointments.
From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:
“Just for today I will have a quiet half hour all by myself and relax. During this half hour, sometime, I will try to get a better perspective on my life.” — Just For Today
When I was new to OA, I liked that little “Just For Today” card, because I was into instant gratification and was not in the habit of reading anything that came in a binding. The folded leaflet contains several suggestions, and this was one of my favorite because I was also a selfish me-addict and taking anything all to myself and relaxing sounded like just what I was looking for. But they tricked me! They added that little part at the end about getting a better perspective on my life. I began to try, just because I had promised, to look at myself from outside myself, and it was then I realized that I was in a bad way and was in desperate need of a fix. I may not live every single principle of the recovery program every single day, but “just for today” it’s amazing what I can do!
From Proverbs 23:
“20 Do not join those who drink too much wine
or gorge themselves on meat”
The Bible grouped alcoholics with overeaters long before Rozanne realized Bill was onto something. This chapter’s underlying theme is one of avoiding even the thought of indulgence. To entertain even the fantasy is to give oneself to the lure. This verse even cautions us to stay out of the company of those who eat and drink like we know not to.
From my reading through the Bible, currently in Luke 17:
Destruction flooded the earth suddenly in the days of Noah like a surprise to everyone but his family. Likewise it came by fire in the days of Lot on Sodom and Gomorrah.
“30 It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed.”
“33 Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.”
Why not give up the meaningless life to gain the eternal one? What does it really matter that the other car got into the lane ahead of you? Why hate the one who got recognized at work when you deserved it? So what if the homeless man on the corner uses your gift to buy booze or dope? How much is our bitterness costing us in the eternal scheme of things? Everything! When the trumpet of the Lord sounds, I do not want His lightning flash (v. 24) to spotlight me chewing on hate and spitting scorn. The only way to avoid getting caught living in darkness is to habitually live in light. To love and serve others is our purpose, so I want to be caught doing it. Of the two sleeping or of the pair in the field, I want to be the one taken for inclusion in glory not the one left out in the rain (vs. 34-35, 27).
Jesus mentioned ingratitude and entitlement in this chapter, and I believe it is definitely worth pointing out. Of the ten cleansed lepers (vs. 11-19) only one came back to thank the Lord, and it was that one Jesus blessed. In a parable, Jesus pointed out that a master is not usually in the practice of waiting on his servant or thanking him, but expects the servant to do as he is told. We have a tendency to get self-satisfied when we do something right or good. God sees this not as a reason to get puffed-up, but a fulfillment of our very purpose.
“10 So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’”
God of Heaven, my Papa, I know You are standing at the door, and You see me when I rise and fall, in my coming and my going. Keep me always on Your path so that I may not be caught wandering. Help me to honor others above myself, but to keep myself clean, strong, and faithful to honor You and to strengthen myself for Your service. Make me whole and unify me to Your purpose alone, so that distractions do not occupy me and my energy.
From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 55:
“…deep down in every man, woman, and child, is the fundamental idea of God. It may be obscured by calamity, by pomp, by worship of other things, but in some form or other it is there. For faith in a Power greater than ourselves, and miraculous demonstrations of that power in human lives, are facts as old as man himself.”
*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.
‡ From “Our Invitation to You” out of Overeater’s Anonymous: “The OA recovery program is patterned after that of Alcoholics Anonymous. We use AA’s Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, changing only the words ‘alcohol’ and ‘alcoholic’ to ‘food’ and ‘compulsive overeater.’”