Posture is important

Those weeds are a pain in the neck….and back….and knees. For those of us with physical impairments, there are methods to compensate for those aches and pains.

Scattered around the overflowing flowerbeds in our yard are multiple milk crates, turned upside down and carefully placed among the plants. They allow me to reach the weeds and plant the flowers without bending at the waist or kneeling.

Often you may find a “reaching tool” lying on a bench or leaning against a fence.

That long orange pole that stands out in the garden is the handle to an extra long Japanese hoe, the weed’s worst enemy. Its sharp blade cuts thick weed roots below the soil surface. Some shorter hand hoes may be found near the potting table or back door.

The secret to successful “handicapped gardening” is to use these and other resources to compensate for various disabilities and lack of muscle strength.

There are methods and techniques that can prevent backache and knee pain in the garden. For instance, I have a potting table set up against the house, with a purple canopy over it for shade. I jokingly refer to this as my “office.” I’ve had prettier offices, but none that I have enjoyed nearly as much!

The height of the table, really a plywood board held up by sawhorses, is perfect to pot up those “Xerox copies” of my favorite plants. Pots of various sizes are “filed” near the table, along with fertilizer and other supplies.

Most of the “office” is set up to reduce back strain, including the extra-long table. Posture is so important for a gardener!

As we think about posture in the spiritual realm, we often fall into the trap of only considering our physical posture as we worship and pray. One of our elders recently made the point that Jesus “looked up into heaven” to pray.

More common prayer postures include falling on one’s face before the almighty and holy God (Genesis 17:3, Leviticus 9:24, Number 16:22, Judges 13:20, Matthew 26:39, Revelation 7:11).

We all tend to use a posture halfway between looking up into heaven and prostrating our faces to the ground; as we have been taught to respectfully bow one’s head and close one’s eyes as we address our Father.

Still other prayer postures have more to do with following God’s instructions to “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17, KJV). We may be in a car and say a quick prayer when another vehicle is threatening to cause an accident. We could quote out of context the words, “Watch and pray” as we keep our eyes open in these situations!

Other times we may be curled up in bed and awaken in the middle of the night. These are excellent times to pray!

“My eyes are awake through the night watches,
That I may meditate on your word” (Psalm 119:148, NKJV).

What really matters, though, is our “spiritual posture.” Saying the words of any type of prayer is useless unless it is accompanied by a humble spirit (Matthew 23:14, Matthew 6:5).

An attitude — or “posture” — of humility is more than the bowing of the head. It is a humble acknowledgment that the one to whom we address our petition has the power and the willingness to help us. It is the knowledge that we are undeserving of God’s gracious gifts which he gives us so freely.

While we may not be able to bow down in our gardens to tend to the flowers, we must bow down in spirit to the true and living God.

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