Abstinent Today:

I am a gratefully recovering compulsive overeater, abstinent by the grace of God one more* day at a time. †

I have found an extra formatting step I can take that I think may fix my font issues. Thanks for bearing with me. If you can read this, then I did something right. (See? I’m celebrating progress!) In case you couldn’t read the nearly white “pale cyan” font of the previous few days, you should be able to visit each post on the blog now, and observe that they appear in a type that is a little more theme-compatible.

 

 

From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“We were free to set aside theological arguments and examine the idea of spiritual power in light of our own desperate need for help with our lives.” — The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, p. 14

The very term “theological arguments” should ruffle the feathers of those under the protective wings of the Creator. Since theology is the study of God and His attributes, the ultimate goodness and grace, it seems contrary to the nature of God to argue about Him. As humans, however, especially when obscured from relationship with Him, we tend to make up what we don’t know and assert our own concepts as the only acceptable ones out of a sort of warped self-defense. For if we are wrong about God, then we are at odds with Him, and that would not be acceptable, so humans paint their picture of God the way they wish Him to be. Like the two men outrunning a bear, one feels as though he only needs to outrun the next slower person. If you are wrong about God and I am right, then perhaps I am at least more acceptable than you, and therefore somehow shielded from some of His wrath. It is wrath, after all, that the dangerously lost fears most, since the terrified are prone to wrath themselves, and imagine it their tool of choice if they were on the judgment seat.  I’ve been there and done that!

Allowing God to be and move as He wills, being content to ask Him to join us and reveal more of Himself to us as we seek Him, we find the agnostic and Pharisee alike equally wanting, equally defunct, and each in need of a Savior. …a Savior from ourselves! Man cannot serve both God and selfishness. Arguments are the defense of the opinions of one’s self.

 

 

From Proverbs 3:

1 My son, do not forget my teaching,
but keep my commands in your heart,
2 for they will prolong your life many years
and bring you peace and prosperity.

This chapter has earthly, physical promises to living in alignment with Wisdom, the craftsman at the Creator’s side (vs. 19-20). Favor, a good name, straight paths, physical health, nourishment to bones, overflowing barns and vats, loving discipline, life, safety, security, companionship with the Lord, God’s favor and confidence: all these are promised as a result of clinging to Wisdom’s tree of life. It makes sense to live in congruence with our created habitat and the One who built it. This chapter is a great reminder that God’s way works best. When we “surrender” to God’s way, we really aren’t giving up anything, but opening ourselves up to the best things God has for us. How exciting!

 

 

From my reading through the Bible, currently in Acts 11:

17 “So if God gave them the same gift he gave us who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could stand in God’s way?”

18 When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, “So then, even to Gentiles God has granted repentance that leads to life.”

As if on cue, the apostles and believers criticized Peter for doing something outside their expectation and understanding, until he explained what God had done. Here is the miracle that has brought the Gospel even to me, a Gentile myself. I am no longer considered unclean, but have received the Spirit of adoption as a son. It is by this Spirit that I can cry out to the Creator, “Papa!” and know that He hears me, loves me, and will be there with me.

I love the way the believers and the author of this book (likely Luke) termed the gift: “God has granted repentance that leads to life.” We, who were in our rebellion, recoiled from the word “repent,” because in it we heard, “Stop doing what you’re doing, loser!” and, “If you do that one more time, so help me, I’ll…” While the word does have an about-face in the core of its meaning, it is less a threat and more of a call to return to relationship, a gift, an invitation, “Come home to me, and let me love you, because I always have!”

 

 

From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, “A Business Man’s Recovery”:

Many times in my life I had prayed for the things I wanted God to do for me, but it had never occurred to me that He, in His Infinite Wisdom knew much better than I what I should have, and be, and do, and that if I simply turned the decision over to Him, I would be led along the right path.

 

Footnotes:

*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.

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