I am a recovering compulsive overeater, abstinent by the grace of God one more* day at a time. †
The other day I got the most touching email! It was from a person I had apparently helped at some point, and it glowed with thanks for my service to them and of praise to God for combining His resource with my willingness and this person’s darkest hour. I wept tears of joy as I thought that, of all the ways I could be remembered, that email summed up my wish: God’s tool, doing its job. To keep me humble, God reminded me, by way of a story told to all my coworkers later that day, of a shameful accident I caused which harmed a young lady. I thought it was ironic to start the day at one extreme and close it with the other. The truth is we all live in between moments such as these. My goal is to make the high moments characterize my life rather than the low, and the only way to do that is to make service a lifestyle and not just an occasional occurrence.
“People pass, and even if they don’t know my name, is there evidence that I’ve been changed? When they see me do they see You?”
I want the answers to these questions to be a resounding “YES!” In order to make that happen, I have to be something more than just a healthy body weight with an available “before” picture. I need to be a consistently loving, go-out-of-my-way kind of server, who genuinely cares for the ones who are used to being overlooked. Doing this occasionally will not do. I have to LIVE like that!
From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:
“Making this program better known is partly up to me.”
It is no mistake that when I am convicted to live a life of service, some twelfth-step work cues itself right up. God carved me into what I am out of the trouble I had made for myself and the circumstances from which He drew me. It makes sense that the ones I can best help are the ones languishing in the same prison from which I have escaped. Being engaged in the recovery fellowship is only part of the solution; I need to be drawing the hurting into where the healing is. How can I best do that? By lovingly reaching out to everyone, tuning myself to be sensitive to the familiar signs of despair, being willing to honestly share my testimony of recovery, and consistently capitalizing on the opportunities God provides for me to do so.
God make me an instrument of Your healing grace, and tune me to play the part You have designed me to play, on cue, according to Your orchestration, for Your delight and that others may join in the music.
From Proverbs 6 (NKJV):
“16 These six things the Lord hates,
Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
17 A proud look,
A lying tongue,
Hands that shed innocent blood,
18 A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that are swift in running to evil,
19 A false witness who speaks lies,
And one who sows discord among brethren.”
In gearing myself to be what God wants, it is always helpful to remind myself what He doesn’t. Here is the list of His seven top dislikes. There is one common theme that strings them all together: selfish pride.
From my reading through the Bible, currently in John 4 (NKJV):
“24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
“34 Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.’”
These Scriptural nuggets I could not overlook, but what struck me most about this chapter was in verses 39-42, where the testimony of the Samaritan woman whom Jesus met at Jacob’s Well was instrumental in drawing the townsfolk to enough faith that they gathered to Him to hear for themselves. Those who came were then firsthand witnesses to the Word of God and believed for themselves.
“42 Then they said to the woman, ‘Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.’”
This goes right along with my call to be a consistent living witness of God’s grace and His ability to transform, first spirit, then mind, and even body. The abundant life which He came to give us (John 10:10) starts as soon as we become willing to receive it! Why not now?
From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 133:
“Now about health: A body badly burned by alcohol does not often recover overnight nor do twisted thinking and depression vanish in a twinkling. We are convinced that a spiritual mode of living is a most powerful health restorative. We, who have recovered from serious drinking, are miracles of mental health. But we have seen remarkable transformations in our bodies. Hardly one of our crowd now shows any dissipation.” ‡
*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.’”