There are some days when, after praying the Third and Seventh Step Prayers, and submitting myself to God by a recitation of Galatians 2:20, I remain open to whatever God will have me do, and it seems there is nothing but to get on with doing what I might have otherwise done – household chores, and things that need maintenance whether I am ministering to others or just being a steward of that with which God has entrusted me. Today, although there will be, no doubt, other opportunities for ministry, I find that refraining from worry is tantamount to submissive worship.
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” (Romans 12:1, NIV)
Without going into more detail than I am permitted, Mrs. L’s workplace has been in turmoil recently, and she has been called to meet today with the same decision makers who have facilitated the recent “voluntary termination” of several other employees. Trusting in God’s divine hand over our household, I know that even separation from an employer, should it come to that, would merely be a motivation toward a better reward under new and better circumstances, but the natural, selfish-man inside me still winces at the thought of loss, even the loss of a snare which may be holding us back from a grander portion of God’s providence for our lives. It seems silly not to welcome the removal of fetters when one recognizes them as that. Who knows what glories wait on the other side of liberation? The only thing that keeps the adult elephant tethered to the stake is fear and the rehearsed memories of failures long past. Perhaps today is the day we yank the stake from the ground and walk with our divine Keeper to our new home. Perhaps there is no change at all in store. The Lord’s will be done, whatever!
I have not mentioned, in much detail, the Thanksgiving holiday road trip. I packed my “pantry in a bag” with many of the staples and just-in-case meals, and it was a good thing too. On several occasions, I separated from the family who was either making stops at fast-food franchises or indulging in all-day meals with no starts or stops in between. It was at these times it was good to have my stand-by supplies, which I augmented with selections from the table prepared by and for the group. My young nephew, knowing that I would not indulge in much of the traditional fare of the holiday, prepared a magnificently colorful raw vegetable plate arranged in the artful depiction of a turkey. Now, I know that, for us in recovery from food obsession, food does not equal love or acceptance, and it does not constitute either punishment or reward, but the thoughtful gesture of that boy who loves his Unkie, knows enough about me to recognize my special need, and took such pains to contribute to meet that need was just precious! My sister was thoughtful enough to bake plain sweet potatoes alongside her sweet-potato casserole, so that I was not left out, and many of the condiments that might smother certain dishes was served on the side out of respect for me. Several at the table even tried to eat things the way I do before resigning that way as “too plain” and indulging their palette. A couple surprised comments were made about the quantity of my meals. I guess some thought I had starved myself to a healthy weight, but they were mistaken. I enjoy educating people that healthy eating does not have to be in bird-sized quantities. We made the holiday about thanks and togetherness rather than food, and everyone got along much better than usual. This year, the measure of the holiday was not in how intolerable TL was to be around, but in how nice it was to be together. That’s evidence of recovery, something for which I give thanks to Almighty God!