I am a gratefully recovering compulsive overeater, abstinent by the grace of God one more* day at a time. †
God did an amazing thing yesterday: He got me through a college math placement test after twenty-six years of sloth. With His help, a lot of prayer, and a little refresher studying, I scored highly enough to enroll in College Algebra without any remediation! I am thrilled that is over, and look forward, with a little nervousness, to starting back to school to finish my degree. I often say, “My only degree is in Fahrenheit,” but that is using humor to cover up a shame I have carried far too long. With retirement baring down on me, it is time to amend that.
From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:
“God is not my arms and legs. It is up to me to do the footwork. Ours is a program of action.” — For Today, p. 136
This reminds me of verses of Proverbs that tell me:
“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” (Proverbs 16:9 NIV)
“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” (Proverbs 19:21 NIV)
Sure, the Lord directs my steps, but it is up to me to take them. I very much want the One who can see all things directing my path and guiding my steps, orchestrating my every breath for His purpose (or mine would have none). I am reminded of the forgiven adulteress to whom Jesus said, “Go and sin no more.” “Go” was part of the command. The healed beggar was told to get up, take his mat and walk. The disciples were instructed, after observing the King of the Universe wash their feet, to go and do likewise. Going, moving, and doing is part of God’s plan for healthy humans. We are built to interact with one another, and I can’t do that in a darkened television viewing room, where isolation and self-indulgence suck me to the couch and food begins to call.
What’s your action plan? Mine is posted HERE.
From Proverbs 5:
11 At the end of your life you will groan, when your flesh and body are spent.
12 You will say, “How I hated discipline! How my heart spurned correction!
13 I would not obey my teachers or turn my ear to my instructors.
14 And I was soon in serious trouble in the assembly of God’s people.”
I don’t think I’m at the end of my life yet, but my soul has groaned these very things. Regimen, routine, others forcing me to do things I did not want to do, “How I hated discipline!” is right! I’ve been a self-will addict my whole life, so is there any wonder that I would not want to join up with the ranks of people signing up to do what others told them to do and studying what others told them to study?
I bow now to discipline. “We alcoholics are undisciplined, so we let God discipline us” (AA, p. 88)
From my reading through the Bible, currently in Acts 13:
38 “Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. 39 Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the law of Moses.
47 For this is what the Lord has commanded us:
“‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’[Isaiah 49:6]”
48 When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honored the word of the Lord; and all who were appointed for eternal life believed.
Paul and Barnabas ran down the history of Israel for this crowd in the synagogue at Pisidian Antioch, and their message came down to this: freedom from the bondage of sin comes through Jesus to everyone who believes; the Light of the world has come to all – Jew and Gentile alike. I am especially happy about this part, because I am a Gentile, and would otherwise have been left out. “All who were appointed for eternal life believed,” makes me want to recommend that everyone pray for an appointment, especially if belief doesn’t come easy. I believe that God will not let one of His children hunger for Him without being satisfied, so when we pray for the faith to believe, let go of what holds us back and turn to Him, I know He will answer.
From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 42:
Then they outlined the spiritual answer and program of action which a hundred of them had followed successfully. Though I had been only a nominal churchman, their proposals were not, intellectually, hard to swallow. But the program of action, though entirely sensible, was pretty drastic. It meant I would have to throw several lifelong conceptions out of the window. That was not easy. But the moment I made up my mind to go through with the process, I had the curious feeling that my alcoholic condition was relieved, as in fact it proved to be.
*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.’”