Have you ever sat and thought about how amazing (and kind of weird) bodies are? We have a skeleton of bones inside our body that literally holds us up. It bears the weight of our muscles, it holds everything together, it keeps us from being giant piles of mush (that’s a weird mental image) and it allows us to move. We have a bunch of organs that help us eat, breathe, pump blood through our bodies. We have a maze of veins that transports blood throughout the entire body. And we have a giant organ of flesh that keeps the package all together. And that’s just scratching the surface. The more and more I think about it, the more I’m in awe of my body and the Creator who made it from dust.
The truth about my body is that I have somewhat of a “special” skeleton- I prefer to call it weird, but in thankfulness knowing that God gave me good bones, I will call it special. Over the past 4 years I’ve been greeted by a few issues in relation to this special body – a painful clavicle, shooting spasms in my lower back, and my latest and greatest discovery, an entrapped ulna nerve causing issues in my pinky fingers. None of these are life threatening, praise God, and so far each ailment is correctable with exercise and changes in how I operate. But here’s the underlying issue that I’ve discovered – each one has to do with my posture.
I never would’ve considered myself someone with bad posture. I don’t slump over a ton. I try to stand up straight. And I work out regularly to try to support these bones. But I've become incredibly aware that the secret to better wellness and a happy body is really good posture. Spending some time in our garden, or lack-there-of, and taking breaks to stretch from the crouched over position, I got to thinking about how extremely important the practice of good posture is both physically andspiritually.
Living with bad posture – I’ve basically been saying to my body, “I want to be lazy and slouch over, I want to be able to lock my knees, to scrunch my shoulders when I’m stressed - I don’t want to do the work of good posture. But, can you please not hurt? Can you feel loose, and free, and flexible for me? Why can’t you just be “normal” and work?”
Thinking about it that way, I’ve realized that too often I have this same attitude towards the Lord. It's as if I’m saying, “God, I want to be lazy, to watch TV instead of reading my bible, to sleep in and go to church next week, to fill up every minute with busyness and all the social events on my calendar. But, can you please bless me? Can you help me figure out which job I should take? Ugh, I am anxious, can you please bring me peace?”
Just like our bodies can’t be well without the diligence of practicing good posture, our hearts can’t be healthy without changing our posture towards the Lord.
At the Influence Conference (which I can’t wait to tell you more about), multiple women talked about literally sitting in a way that encourages this attitude. Sitting tall, placing our feet solid, rooting them into the ground, laying our hands on our knees with palms facing up, and closing our eyes, we created a body language, a physical representation of what our hearts we're saying – Lord we're here, we're listening. This may sound a bit cooky, or too yoga-ish if you’re not a fan of yoga, but it’s a great way to remember that everything we do – even the way we position our bodies plays a role in our focus, in our ability to put Him first.
As far as my physical body goes, I know what posture it needs to keep my muscles from straining in odd positions and allow my nerves the space they need to glide freely. Standing tall, keeping my shoulders back, planting my feet evenly on the ground, and keeping my joints from hyperextending as they would prefer to do, are all requirements for my body if I want to feel better. I’ve seen the incredible difference it makes, so I’m working really hard to position my body this way.
Well it’s the same with our relationship with the Lord. If we want to experience God in the fullest way, then we have to put ourselves in a posture to do so. Being in the word every day, taking time away from the social media craziness and just being quiet, spending time in prayer, going to church, studying the word with fellow Christ-followers, changing our focus to Him, is what we need to fully experience and glorify the Lord.
I really want to emanate Jesus. I want to be so full of His joy that it’s evident in the way I conduct myself, how I speak, and how I influence others. So I must work on my posture towards Him.
Just like when I am bathing in the summer sun, and arranging my lounge chair so that I am directly facing the sun – I want to arrange myself in a way that I am directly facing Him so that I might reflect who He is.
I love how God uses anything and everything to teach us more about Him – I am so thankful for my crazy body and what I learned about posture as a result. If you too are one who struggles with posture (physically and spiritually), I’m here for you! Let’s work on this together, so that we might better glorify Him.
P.S. The image above is from Mandy Reid Instagram. I love her feed -she's a yoga instructor who loves Jesus. So her posts are super encouraging and challenging and all things yoga, not to mention they are beautiful images! Go check her out @mandyreidyoga