Pride goes before destruction,
a haughty spirit before a fall.
- Proverbs 16:18
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
- Matthew 5:5
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
- Ephesians 6:10-17
Have you ever heard a doctor tell you to improve your posture, because your back pain is a result of poor posture? Okay, maybe most of us have been taught about good posture when we were young, but have you had a doctor tell you about your poor posture when you were in your mid to late sixties?
It caused me to think when my primary care physician said that. One of the thoughts was, “I need a new primary care physician.” Then I thought about how someone who has had bad posture for nearly 70 years can get that fixed. Is it even possible?
Then I thought of how I got the bad posture in the first place? Some of it is laziness, but much of it was the reaction to always being told that I could do better, never being told that I was worthy of praise, never being praised for a job well done. Thus the shoulders hung so that an over-the-shoulder carrying strap always falls off and backpacks tend to slip – putting the weight in the wrong spot.
Jesus tells us to be a master, we must be a servant of all. In the featured photo, I recently studied my posture in the photo. While the other men are standing around, I am at parade rest. It is a rest position, but a formal one. My eyes are trained straight ahead, but my chest should be out and my shoulders back. Just trying to do that now as I type is uncomfortable. It requires using muscles that I have rarely ever used.
Even one of the Jody calls when we marched in the Army related to good posture and military bearing. (By the way, a “Jody” is a civilian who makes advances on your wife while you are away on military assignment. How a sergeant’s barking cadence becomes a “Jody call” is a mystery to me. A famous Jody call is “You had a good home when you left! Right! You had a good home when you left! Right! Sound off! One, two! Sound off! Three, Four! Bring it on down! One, two, three, four, one two … Three, four!!!!” This is sung up and down the scale.) But one Jody call talks about “Chest out and shoulders back, head and eyes off the ground” stuff like that, but I was the officer, walking behind my men, and I had trouble keeping in step – even with the rhythmic barking of nonsense, forget the good posture. In military training leading up to getting a commission, I did a lot of marching. As an officer, not so much, thankfully.
And to think that the boss that I had who nearly single-handedly ruined my civilian career said that he only disliked one thing about me. He said that I had a strong military bearing and I strutted around. Someone with slumped shoulders does not strut. I doubt if it is possible. Thus, it is a mystery what prejudice he had against me, but it was God that orchestrated things for me to get where I am.
I know that Jesus said for us to be servants, but do we have to walk around slump-shouldered, in a posture of servitude?
Why did all this come up? I have developed back pain in the middle of my back, near the diaphragm. Since the doctor hears nothing wrong when listening to my lungs, he jumps to the poor posture conclusion that I am just now paying for a lifetime of slumping my shoulders in servitude to parents, teachers, bosses, etc. As it stands, I limit my time at the computer, with rests a few times each day, or the back pain gets so bad, I cannot sit up.
Even so, God is in control, and He gives me enough good moments so that I can keep up my writing pace. And I stand firm in the faith as the Scripture from Ephesians says, even when sitting down or lying down during a break in writing.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.