I am a gratefully recovering compulsive overeater, abstinent by the grace of God one more* day at a time. †
I hope I never become so infected with fear that I intentionally mutilate my body just to avoid the possibility of disease. Where does it end? There is a certain chance I will be hit by a car. Shall I avoid all motor vehicle traffic? Certainly not! Germs float around in the air and on the breath of every person I meet. Should I hide from everyone and live in a bubble? Not if I want to do the job of ministering to others I was created for!
I am no better than anyone else where this is concerned! We compulsive eaters have been cutting ourselves off from healthy wholeness most of our lives by indulging our senses and appetites. Our fears and regrets played tug-of-war with our emotions until “Aaahhhh! Yummm!” seemed to at least make the hurting go away for a brief moment, but we were never left happy afterwards, or healed, or safe. Ironically, we moved ourselves that much closer to disaster by our indulgence, into risks, malfunction and disease we perhaps had not even imagined before. That’s no way to live!
Dear Father, today, help me be grateful for the opportunities You orchestrate for me to be helpful, rather than to fear the obstacles that lead me to them. Help me never seek to preserve what You would have me give up, or to let go of what You have given me to keep. God, bless those who hurt so deeply or fear so greatly that they would harm themselves to hide from their fears. Rescue the perishing, and employ me to help if I can!
From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:
“One Day at a Time” — Program slogan
I love this slogan, and I love its cousin statement, “one moment at a time.” Fear has a way of multiplying the worst possible outcome until it seems so undefeatable that we cower in place, paralyzed by our own imaginations or, worse yet, take action that puts us in harm’s way. Likewise, regret is a chain that we hold onto by choice, and living my present moment frees me to let go of the slave-bonds to my past.
I was thinking about this slogan and its part in my daily writing. I used to write an email once a week in which I included the highlights from my week, the meetings I attended, my Bible readings, the devotional thoughts I wrote down, anything noteworthy I found in my journal from that period, and I would send it to a select few recovery fellows. My sponsor used to answer such emails with a typical one-line response, “One day at a time!” Back then I thought what he was trying to get me to do was write every day, so I did, and still do. I have no idea if that was his intent, but it began a habit that has gone on for a couple years now. Likely as not, he was just encouraging me to let go of the hurts of my seven-day spells, which I also have learned to do, but I thought it was amusing how things get started.
From Proverbs 16, NIV:
19 Better to be lowly in spirit along with the oppressed
than to share plunder with the proud.
This goes along with the admonition of Paul to the Corinthians from the other day, when he said, “Why not rather be wronged?” (1 Cor. 6:7) I would rather be wronged or oppressed than to cause someone to stumble on my account.
What if a medical supply company was peddling a new testing procedure that it could stand to make millions on if given the right publicity, and a certain celebrity used the new testing procedure and subsequently took drastic action that was bound to receive media attention in just the right type and amount that medical company needed? Now imagine that, because of her (or his) public endorsement, thousands of people flocked to their hospitals to buy the testing procedure to assuage or confirm their fears, and then commenced to mutilate their bodies all for the sake of that same fear? Would you want to be party to that process? Even if there was a substantial stipend paid for each subscribing victim, would you want to be in any way responsible for the howling laughter in Hell over such a temporal victory as they had won over so many? Not me!
I say again: God save the fearful! Let me reflect hope wherever I go!
From my reading through the Bible, currently in 1 Corinthians 10, NIV:
24 No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.
31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 32 Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— 33 even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.
It’s when I read things like this after writing things like I have above that I feel confirmed by the Spirit.
From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 61:
Admitting he may be somewhat at fault, he is sure that other people are more to blame. He becomes angry, indignant, self-pitying. What is his basic trouble? Is he not really a self-seeker even when trying to be kind? Is he not a victim of the delusion that he can wrest satisfaction and happiness out of this world if he only manages well? Is it not evident to all the rest of the players that these are the things he wants? And do not his actions make each of them wish to retaliate, snatching all they can get out of the show? Is he not, even in his best moments, a producer of confusion rather than harmony?
*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.