Memorial Day MarineAbstinent Today:

I am a gratefully recovering compulsive overeater, abstinent by the grace of God one more* day at a time.  †

“Don’t cry over spilled milk,” the saying goes.  Though not crying, I was certainly an outrageous ass this morning, when I dropped a bottle of olive oil which broke and exploded glass shards and oil everywhere.  Not quite sure what I was mad at or aroused by, I took it out in my old form of rage and yelling.  I barked at the dog who came to see what the commotion was about, I barked at my precious bride who only tried to help, and then again when she tried to change the subject to something I suspect might even be at the root of my aroused state: my test anxiety.  My first Algebra exam is this Wednesday, and I just do not understand some of the material.  I have never felt so ill-prepared for a test before.  I will likely go to study helps tomorrow, but in the meantime, thinking about it while already fuming about broken glass and spilled oil was like throwing gasoline on a barbeque grill.

After I had scared everyone away with my ranting as I mopped up the mess, I heard the echo of Step Ten in my head, “…and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”  Crap!   I sought out my precious bride and apologized for barking at her.  I was still walking in my wounds so I couldn’t say much else, but I heard her say something sweet, and I quietly walked out, headed for work, with the freshly mopped floor drying.

I used to ride a motorcycle in the Memorial Day parade in our town.  My favorite way to observe Memorial Day is a quiet day at home, watching movies like Saving Private Ryan, We Were Soldiers, Pearl HarborGods and Generals, or the Patriot.  Once I think I even watched them all in the same day, although I don’t think that was in the abstinent part of my life.  Today, I will neither watch a movie, nor ride in a parade.  Instead I will do as usual, work.  The boss will credit me with a holiday for working through this one, but it certainly seems like I am missing out on something.  Maybe that has something to do with my anxiety.

God, as the nation turns its thoughts to the life sacrifices made by American servicemen and women, keep me from turning my attention to what I feel I am sacrificing.  Anything I would lose or have lost I consider garbage next to the sweetness of abundant life in You.  Keep me focused on that today as I go about my business seeking and trying to do Your will.  Thank You for saving me, my One True Hero!

 

 

 

From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

Only I can take that first step away from the food and toward my Higher Power and the tools of recovery, slogging through those moments, hours, or even days of craving and negativity. I point myself away from them, toward the tools and God’s love.

Yes, that!  One breath, one step, one moment at a time, I choose to step away from the danger and back toward the solid footing of God’s will for me.  I recognize that I am in harm’s way when I am feeling selfish, my spirit gets darkened and my mood begins to blue.  I hate that!  I choose the vitality that comes from unity with my Higher Power.  God deliver me from the bondage of self!

 

 

From Proverbs 27, NIV:

19 As water reflects the face,

so one’s life reflects the heart.[Or so others reflect your heart back to you]

Whatever image I was projecting this morning was not the part of my heart I want to be active or in control, or even perceived as part of me.  I think my mirror must be one of those two-way ones, where the light has to be on in one direction in order to create a mirror out of what would otherwise be a transparent glass.  My reality is that my flesh heart is corruption, and my spirit walks in the light of Life.  When I put to death the corruptible, hateful, sinful self-nature, I would like to think that the spiritual one, the redeemed and sanctified part of me would hold onto the reins a little tighter, but the dead man in me keeps climbing onto the driver’s seat.  I want him bound so that he can’t interfere again, and concealed in an opaque sarcophagus so that his image doesn’t peek through into my life and actions.

 

 

 

From my reading through the Bible, currently in 2 Corinthians 4, NIV:

6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,”[Gen. 1:3] made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.

7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.

This reference is the connective tissue between the jars of clay we all are as human hosts for the Spirit of Light and the battle led by Gideon in Judges 7.   In that case, the torches of the whittled-down army were concealed in clay pots until the moment before attack, when trumpets were sounded and the Lord caused Gideon’s enemies to flee and turn on each other.  The light of the Spirit shines brightest in our moments of brokenness.  When our flesh fails us, God’s grace does not.  Just like with Gideon’s army, when I attack with my might, I limit God’s glory, but when I accept His will for me, even when it means sending most of my resources elsewhere, He is faithful to deliver me and make my enemies flee.

There is another Kingdom parallel here too, in the pouring out of vessels (be they pots, jars, or bowls) and sounding of trumpets at the revelation of the Spirit’s charge and the final overcoming of His enemies, but that’s getting way ahead of today’s text.

 

 

 

From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 72:

We have been trying to get a new attitude, a new relationship with our Creator, and to discover the obstacles in our path. We have admitted certain defects; we have ascertained in a rough way what the trouble is; we have put our finger on the weak times in our personal inventory. Now these are about to be cast out. This requires action on our part, which, when completed, will mean that we have admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being, the exact nature of our defects.

 

 

Footnotes:

*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.

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