I am a gratefully recovering compulsive overeater, abstinent by the grace of God one more* day at a time. †
From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:
“The Tenth Step begins with the word ‘continued,’ our first clue that perseverance is about to become a key aspect of our recovery program.” — The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, p. 84
After the raw feeling of Steps Four and Five, I remembered hearing the word “continued” in Step Ten, and decided that, in order to avoid ever having to dig so deeply into the hidden pains of my character again, I should keep from burying my defects that deep anymore. For that reason, I began the vigilance the word “continuing” suggests the same day I gave away my Fifth Step.
From Proverbs 7:
11 (She [the temptress] is unruly and defiant,
her feet never stay at home;
12 now in the street, now in the squares,
at every corner she lurks.)
Discontent, prepared, active, intentional, the destroyer waits with anticipation for the unprepared, wayward victim. Knowing this makes it imperative that I remain diligently on guard, wary against the traps laid for me. It is in my interest to be at least as prepared, active, and intentional as the one trying to ensnare me. To have a plan, to follow it, and to trust God to help me use the tools of recovery to help me stick to my plans, and not end up like the foolish youth, wandering into trouble and paying for his disregard with his life.
From my reading through the Bible, currently in Acts 15:
39 They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus, 40 but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the believers to the grace of the Lord. 41 He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.
What are these two pillars of the early Christian Church doing having a disagreement? I believe that even people who play vital roles in the Kingdom of God are still people and, as such, are susceptible to the various temptations and weaknesses of mankind. God still accomplished His purposes, likely as not even more efficiently, since two teams were made of the dispute where only one had been. Later, we will find evidence that John Mark and Paul settled their differences, because late in Paul’s imprisonment he described John Mark as helpful in his ministry and called for his company (2 Timothy 4:11).
If even Paul, the saint and apostle to the Gentiles, can be tempted, disappointed, and angered, who do I think I am to believe that I will be free of such things? I need to expect disappointment and plan for it, acknowledging that my spirit is still confined, at least for now, in a human form among other human forms, and that friction between them is natural, even while my call is to respond in the supernatural.
God, I thank You for saving me from the eternal consequence of separation from You. Help me engage myself where You plant me, being careful to engage myself with the needs of mankind without ensnaring myself in their trappings.
From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, pages 66 and 67:
This was our course: We realized that the people who wronged us were perhaps spiritually sick. Though we did not like their symptoms and the way these disturbed us, they, like ourselves, were sick too. We asked God to help us show them the same tolerance, pity, and patience that we would cheerfully grant a sick friend. When a person offended we said to ourselves, “This is a sick man. How can I be helpful to him? God save me from being angry. Thy will be done.”
We avoid retaliation or argument. We wouldn’t treat sick people that way. If we do, we destroy our chance of being helpful. We cannot be helpful to all people, but at least God will show us how to take a kindly and tolerant view of each and every one.
*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.