Abstinent Today:

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:

“I do not need to fear failure. I need, rather, the peace of mind that comes with taking the action I have been putting off.” — For Today, p. 168

I went bungee jumping shortly after I turned thirty.  It was an exciting experience, but one not without fear.  I remember our jumpmaster cautioning us to jump precisely when he told us to, not sooner or later, but exactly on command.  Since he was managing the pulley and the ballast that would assure our safety, I planned to do exactly as he said, but the man in front of me panicked in the last moments on the platform.  As the jumpmaster began to count to three, which would have been followed by the command to jump, this man jumped after “one.”  The jumpmaster frantically hurried about his business, which I could tell normally takes him a three-count to accomplish, but he got it done just in time for the man’s line to snap taught and spring him away from the air-bag and concrete below.  As he struggled against the man’s weight at the end of the line, he barked at me a message to give to that man when I met him again on the ground.  The message was not friendly and it involved death and a warning to do what he was told if there ever was a next time.  I don’t remember delivering that rather bitter message, but I sure heard it, and you better believe I jumped on command.

I have witnessed how God carefully orchestrates my life and the lives of those around me, and I am confident He is weaving the lives of everyone in similar manner according to His purposes.  I would imagine that, as much preparation as it must take to get lives to flow together as smoothly as they normally do, or would when we are in His will, that it must be frustrating when we arrive at a well-timed opportunity and blow it or miss our cue.  The same Scripture that explains the meaning of life describes God’s diligence in making our circumstances matter.  “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10, NIV)   What a shame it is when we miss our opportunity!  Where is the faith to move when fear makes us stand in our tracks?  Let us exercise our faith to fulfill our purpose.  Why not rather be afraid to be guilty of omission when our Maker has us account for our inaction?  Any fear is a temporary motivator, so even this will only suffice for as long as it takes for love to become our motivator.  As it does, fear is muted, relegated to a background noise while we who, in love, seek to please our Savior, happily do the will of our Lord.

Papa, keep me attentive to Your orchestrated opportunities, so I do not, by my own selfish inattention, miss my cue.  Help me to love others and serving You more than I love my comfort, my plans, my schedule, my resources, or my pride.

 

From my reading through the Bible, currently in Revelation 1, NIV:

Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.

John on PatmosThis is the account of John of Zebedee, brother of James who was called with him from their fishing trade to be among the first of Jesus disciples and later, apostles, the one “whom Jesus loved” according to his own writing (John 13:23, 20:2, 21:20).  The setting is likely after all the others have died or been killed, on an island of exile called Patmos (v. 9), where it appears Apostle John lived his last years.  It was then that Jesus appeared to him in glory (vs. 13-18), and commissioned him to write down what would be revealed to him (v. 19).  It is important to notice that Jesus then explained to him two heavenly objects and their earthly counterparts.  The rest of Revelation does not always provide these links, and it is important to seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance as we read on.  I will be careful not to add to or detract from what is in the text, but let the reader understand that there are some things in the Book of Revelation that are clear, some which the Spirit will help decipher, some to which other Scripture holds the key (ie. Daniel and the other Prophets), and some which are to remain mysteries.  God’s messenger to John even told him to bind up a few mysteries and not even write them down, so it is clear that we are not to know everything, but only that which God chooses to reveal to us.  What we are given, we are blessed if we take to heart, and what we are instructed, we are blessed if we will do it.  So says the Word of God.

Father, send me Your Spirit and help me to hear what You would say to me.  Keep me from misleading, but let me be silent where You are silent and speak where You would have me speak.  Love me through Your Word, that I may love others, and that they may love You.  Until we see each other face to face, may mine shine ever brighter with Your likeness, as You work Your purposes in me.  Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

 

From AA’s Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, page 105:

The moment we catch even a glimpse of God’s will, the moment we begin to see truth, justice, and love as the real and eternal things in life, we are no longer deeply disturbed by all the seeming evidence to the contrary that surrounds us in purely human affairs.  We know that God lovingly watches over us.  We know that when we turn to Him, all will be well with us, here and hereafter.

 

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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