I just can’t imagine God saying, “Sit down and shut up!” Can you?
Or, “Children should be seen and not heard.”
Or even, “Sit still and mind your manners.”
Yes, we are children, daughters and sons of the Most High. But, “sit up and eat your peas,” just isn’t the conversation I expect to have at the table with God. Odd, though, that if we grew up in harsh strictness and belittledness, if we were ignored, disrespected, or God help us, abused, this notion of being children at the right hand of a father takes on an unwelcomeness. In self-preservation we learn to keep quiet and stay out of the way.
God has never been a God of self-preservation. Certainly not for children.
Yes, holy discipline surely is God’s kindness, that we learn to observe boundaries, respect rules and honor elders helps it go well for us. But sit still and be quiet … that just doesn’t feel like God to me.
In the space at God’s feet there is plenty of space to get the wiggles out. I imagine God chortles at my antics and shakes a head at my mischief, but confines me to one square foot on the rug? Nah. No loving parent would think that a good thing for a child.
And I am that Child.
To me, God has always said, go ahead and move. It’s way easier, then, to guide me in the right direction. That way, overcoming inertia will never be God’s problem with me.
My book, Made to Move: Knowing and Loving God Through Our Bodies, takes this approach. God made us to move and, through movement, to learn about and grow into ourselves. Of course, once we’re mature, a good dose of self discipline can help us still the outside so we can attend to the movement inside.
Lungs…expanding and releasing.
Muscles…stretching and lengthening.
Joints…relaxing and allowing.
Blood… coursing and flowing.
Thoughts…expanding and defining.
And there’s life itself, feeling kind of like it did when we were a kid. I am God’s kid and so are you. Let’s go ahead and act like it.
We notice when something is changing, not when it has changed.
We are made this way.
- To attend to the acceleration, not the constant speed
- To catch the approach of a predator, not the constant sway of the grass
- To feel the crawl of a spider, but not the constant warmth of the sun
We notice when we are jarred from our reverie into attention.
We are made this way. But…
- If acceleration becomes constant speed.
- If predators crouch to blend in.
- If spiders stop to take a bite.
We may stop noticing.
We are made this way, too.
Oh, stillness, thank you, for drawing my attention back to constancy.
- constant motion
- constant sway
- constant warmth.
We are also made this way.
Beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. ~ Philippians 4:8
What good is a body?
Its senses offer awareness.
Its movements exercise connectedness.
Its behavior shows what it is thinking.
Its responsiveness proves its attention.
Its spontaneity, a display of flexibility.
Its skill, evidence of its teaching.
Its performance shows that it has practiced.
Its coordination calls on its balance.
Its competence demonstrates its consistency.
Its record shows its preparation.
A body grows when it is nourished,
Its fragrant fruit is sweet success.
The body diminishes when undernourished,
love withheld steals vital stores.
Separate from each other,
the body’s design amounts to nothing.
Helpless to sense,
Hopeless to move,
Confused in thought,
Distracted in direction,
Paralyzed in place or…Listless…Wandering…..Lost.
A body performs magnificently,
when we treat it as it asks.
If we listen as it speaks.
The body doesn’t lie.
What is your body meant to do with its one chance?
How does it respond when you’re not looking?
What does it say when you’re not thinking?
Where does it go when there are no directions?
Whom does it follow when the teacher leaves the room?
How does it work when no one is watching?
The body is our good gift,
meant for the work of one lifetime;
begun in us, created and still creating through us.
The body tells the truth.
Truth does a body good.