My elbows are resting on the old table, converted to a desk long before me, and my chin is cupped in my hands. I’m mindful of my blouse and the jagged spots on the table (mostly covered with scotch tape) as I read through the legislation. I’ve read a version of this bill at least 20 times in the last several months and so I am hunched over the many pages – scanning for anything my accustomed eyes are tricking me into seeing or not. It’s been a week and I am about as squirrelly as my 7 year old, sitting on the edge of my chair with my feet bouncing around below me. Anyone who walks by my office knows that I am a combo of “What not to do” and a neon sign demanding an ergo assessment. My posture is horrible and I can feel the consequences of it between my shoulders and ratcheting across my back. I also know that in this position, hunched over my paperwork, I look more frustrated than assured.
The Cleveland Clinic defines posture as “the position in which you hold your body upright against gravity while standing, sitting, or lying down. Good posture involves training your body to stand, walk, sit and lie in positions where the lest strain is placed . . .” The Cleveland Clinic also tells us that proper posture: keeps us in alignment, decreases stress, prevents us from becoming fixed in abnormal positions, prevents strain, prevents pain, and contributes to our overall appearance.
I wonder if the consequences for bad physical posture also holds true for bad spiritual posture. What if we define spiritual posture as the position in which we hold our heart to our Savior against the pull of this broken world?
Good spiritual posture involves training our heart and mind to remain focused and centered on God.
When we are successful in this endeavor we find ourselves in fewer situations in which our spiritual posture suffers strain. Proper spiritual posture keeps us in alignment with God, decreases our level of stress, and prevents us from becoming fixed on those things not of God. Maintaining good spiritual posture can prevent strain and pain – contributing to our overall posture.
Today, on Day 7 of this 30 Days of Thankfulness, I am grateful for what my focus has revealed – my spiritual posture has slipped.
I am in need of a “posture reset”.
This is a phrase used in my running group to remind ourselves to evaluate and be mindful of our form, our positioning. When we are training and one of the coaches yells “Reset!” we raise our arms over head and take the opportunity to adjust our postures and our form. Days 1 through 6 have renewed my awareness of what I know to be true – that I have so much and so many to be thankful for and was in need of my own spiritual reset.
I chose this exercise of gratitude as a way of battling back against a very challenging and hard couple of months. I may not have been able to control the circumstances around me but I could be purposeful in controlling what I chose to focus on and put my energies into. And even though we’re only on day 7, I can tell you it has not been an exercise in futility.
When you are purposeful in focusing on what is good and true around you, and on the many big and little things you have to be grateful for, you realize that 30 days is simply not enough. 30 days is not enough for even the highlights. It also occurred to me early on, that these expressions of gratitude were also a way to affirm and honor those people in my life for whom I am so incredibly grateful for. These 30 days, initially meant to encourage myself and shift my own focus, were also an opportunity to encourage those around me.
Maybe you’ve had a rough week, month, or year. Maybe it’s been a rough couple of years. Maybe your posture has slipped? Wherever you are, this is me calling “Reset!” for you.