I am a gratefully recovering compulsive overeater, abstinent by the grace of God one more* day at a time. †
Today I register for my College Algebra class. All I have to do it register and pay for it, but it feels like such a huge step after all these years. I’ll just move one foot in front of the other, and like every task I’ve ever accomplished before, I will likely look back on this as just a tiny part of a greater work that will remain in progress as long as I live on Earth.
From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:
I often find that what I share in a meeting is just what I need to hear. Yes, I do indeed carry the message to myself. As I do, I remind myself of the hope found in our common solution.
I have heard it said that God gave us two ears and one mouth so we could listen twice as much as we speak. I have discovered that, while it is important they outnumber my mouth, God’s positioning of my ears on either side of my mouth keeps me in the front row when my gums get to flapping. Very often, God gives me just what to say, and it takes another person to get me to say it, but just then my ears convict me as if to say, “Whoa, brother, did you catch that? That one was for YOU!” Putting myself in a position to process feelings into articulable thought is an important part of my recovery. That is why I pray out loud when appropriate, journal, write, blog, attend meetings, share publicly about my recovery from compulsive eating, and generally try to be encouraging when the opportunities present themselves. Every bit of encouragement I share with other, I also hear. So when I commend someone on a job well done, I myself am cheered on to do well the next job at my own hands. When I remind someone that they are a beloved child of God and they will be given the resources to meet their perceived need, I am reminded of the same thing for myself. My ears are positioned just right to catch whatever is coming from mouth. That is why it is so important to follow this little bit of instruction:
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29)
From Proverbs 18:
7 The mouths of fools are their undoing,
and their lips are a snare to their very lives.
10 The name of the Lord is a fortified tower;
the righteous run to it and are safe.
Lips, words, and the attitudes that propel them are a common theme in this chapter. These two verses, however, appear to be mirror ends of one truth. The ensnared life blabs from its selfish concern, wrapping its possessor in the trap of bitter resentments and enmity with those around him, blackening his very soul. On the other hand, those who humbly call on the name of the Lord and pursue Him find safety, comfort and the warmth of being in the strong hands of the Creator. When I don’t know what else to say, I call on my God, and He knows already what I need. He hears before I even speak, but in speaking, I confess with my mouth my need and my dependence on Him, and unleash His power and His will here on Earth as it is in Heaven.
From my reading through the Bible, currently in Acts 27:
22 But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed. 23 Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me 24 and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’ 25 So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me.
I know I’m a geek for all things nautical, but I love the way this chapter reads. It’s like a seafarer’s novel in one chapter! Storms, prophecy, the crew coming over to faith in Paul’s word over the word of the ship’s owner and pilot all made for an exciting read. Still this little excerpt is an example of God’s will even amid disaster, and strengthens me to be faithful even in turbulent times. Though the decking beneath me be shaken, I am in God’s hands! The Lord’s plan will be carried out, even if He has to delay me, my circumstances, or the earth itself. He values my life and has all under His control. This is a great chapter!
You know what it reminds me of, besides the great steadiness and trustworthiness of God? This:
“Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts.” (James 3:4-5)
Is that James’ way of saying, “Loose lips sink ships?” Maybe something like that.
From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 52:
We are like the passengers of a great liner the moment after rescue from shipwreck when camaraderie, joyousness and democracy pervade the vessel from steerage to Captain’s table. Unlike the feelings of the ships passengers, however, our joy in escape from disaster does not subside as we go our individual ways. The feeling of having shared in a common peril is one element in the powerful cement which binds us. But that in itself would never have held us together as we are now joined.
*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.
- God’s stimulus plan (christianpf.com)