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:
…abstinence gives me the courage to be a person I respect and like, the integrity to align my actions with my values.
So when the seas of my life get stormy, I remember the phrase, “Abstinence is a lifeboat. Stay in the lifeboat.”
I like the way the contributor words this: “the integrity to align my actions with my values.” That’s how I feel about the phrase “act as if.” I’m not going to lie, I also got hooked with the boating reference. I a sucker for anything seafaring. Still, by being abstinent, or put another way “denying my selfish desires,” I finally feel as though I am acting in congruence with God’s will. This is true first with my eating, and then as I am convicted by my work on the Twelve Steps, in all my other affairs as well. I’m not getting it perfect, but I’m not in direct and intentional conflict with His will either, and that allows me to stop despising myself as I always have.
Thank You, Father, for loving me, and for guiding me to love myself. Help me to always love me, others more, and You most!
From Proverbs 27:
1 Do not boast about tomorrow,
for you do not know what a day may bring.
To be as young as I am, I’ve lost a lot of friends to death. One thing I know is that we are not guaranteed a tonight, let alone a tomorrow. It is vanity to put off whom I can love today. In a few days, I will be escorting a widow at a memorial service honoring her deceased husband. He was a friend of mine and I saw him only six hours before he died of a heart attack. When I had asked him how he was doing, he replied with a familiar axiom, “Same sh__, different day!” I don’t believe I will ever hear that phrase without thinking of my friend and remembering that every day is a gift; none are guaranteed.
Lord, let me live my today in such a way as to honor You, the Giver of it. Let me never make vain assumptions about tomorrow. If You will it, I will wake tomorrow and live again to the glory of Your name. Whether I wake or not, into Your hands I commit my spirit.
From my reading through the Bible, currently in Romans 7:
22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Paul gets a little tongue-twist going on in this chapter, in what I call the do-da-do-da-do-dat-did verses (15-20). The truth is, as long as we are carried along by our flesh bodies, we are subject to the law of the flesh: that because we are made of meat, we are prone to corruption, death, and decay. This reality is no different than the understanding of recovery being a daily reprieve that must be refreshed on an on-going basis, as we seek God’s will in all we do. As soon as we grab back the selfish will, we begin to serve the flesh carriage and not the Holy Spirit whose temple it has become.
From “the Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 85:
It is easy to let up on the spiritual program of action and rest on our laurels. We are headed for trouble if we do, for alcohol is a subtle foe. We are not cured of alcoholism. What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition. Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God’s will into all of our activities. “How can I best serve Thee—Thy will (not mine) be done.” These are thoughts which must go with us constantly. We can exercise our will power along this line all we wish. It is the proper use of the will.‡
Post(s) of note:
*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.’”