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:
Unlike other groups or organizations we’ve been a part of, there is no “graduation” in OA. Another word for graduation, however, is “commencement.” With OA, we commence a new life.
I heard someone say once that the OA graduation speech is simply, “Would you like fries with that?” I always got a kick out of that. We never reach completion, but we do gradually find new levels of trust, of gratitude and of faith. I have not arrived, and my life is painfully obvious evidence of that, but I am recovering. Each day I live well I am well, and I live the OA message of recovery whether anyone is observing it or not. When I remain in companionship with my Higher Power, I am a new creation; the old is gone the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
From Proverbs 22, NIV:
10 Drive out the mocker, and out goes strife;
quarrels and insults are ended.
11 One who loves a pure heart and who speaks with grace
will have the king for a friend.
I know I’m hung up on the word “mocker” this week, but I am really convicted about it. I come by it naturally; my family is full of them. Sometimes we have contests. Seriously! I know that my defects have had some payoff (usually I won the contests), but that is no longer of use to me. I have seen the face of my defect and I don’t like it. It is keeping me from being able to speak with grace and having far more important friends than the king – my family.
My Creator, I am now willing that you remove every single defect of character that stands in the way of my usefulness to You and my fellows.
From my reading through the Bible, currently in Philippians 3, NIV:
12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
15 All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained.
If Paul couldn’t say he had “arrived” then I know I can’t! Still, I find the last part of this excerpt instructive. There is no progress, no graduation, no accomplishment that I have any room to feel confident about or superior for. I have a responsibility for the progress I have made, in that when I have asked for my defects to be removed for the purpose of usefulness to God and my fellows, I am committed to be so useful as God enables me. It is humbling to be reminded by God of my limitations, but far more exciting to be an instrument of His grace!
God, forgive my pride, and please continue Your work in me. I like what You are doing and I have no complaints.
From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 84:
We constantly remind ourselves we are no longer running the show, humbly saying to ourselves many times each day “Thy will be done.”
*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.