Time to evaluate habits and beliefs

Election signs are popping up throughout the neighborhood. More and more I’ve wondered if these create points of conversation, opportunity to examine our values, or if they’re simply points of contention as we dig in our heels determined to be what we’ve always been.

A number of years ago, my seminary professor gave me much to think about when he asked the question: “What is your unexamined posture?”

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There are ways we stand and move and function in our homes and communities without questioning the posture or position we are taking.

We are creatures of habit. We make assumptions. We are conditioned to ways of doing and thinking.

How have I been conditioned?

In faithfulness to the good of Community, what I am I being called to notice?

Here are a few of my thoughts…

Unexamined Posture

Hour upon hour

Day after day

Weeks on end

Until decades have gone by.

He hunches over the operating table Skilled with a keen eye and quick hands.

Trained in the work of his father and his father before that. Hours of physical labor have shaped his posture.

Muscles drawing his shoulders forward A slight hunch to his back
A tilt to his neck to achieve his view.

Like his father before him and his father before that. 

It’s how he stands all day. It’s normal. It’s comfortable.

Until somebody says: “Stand up straight, hold your shoulders back.”

And he stands in front of the mirror to notice.

Years have gone by, and this accommodating posture has gone unexamined.

After all, he looks like his father and his father before that.

But now he has noticed; now there is a choice to make.

Walk away from this unexamined posture and live with its comfort handed down from years.

Or do the hard work of retraining muscles Experience the discomfort of standing straight when the old posture worked fine.

Being self-aware and accepting the notice of others when the muscles retreat to their old posture. 

What is our unexamined posture? The patterns in which we sit like our parents before us and the parents before that? Are we willing to listen to the correction of others?

Take notice of ourselves. Do the hard work of retraining muscles that have accommodated in position for generations?

What is the unexamined posture in the comfort of our power structure,

In patterns of dominance or surrendering to being to being told we are less-than?

The generationally flexed muscles exerting control, keeping us hunched with a tilted neck? Are we willing to listen, to stand in front of the mirror?

To be self-aware.

To do the hard and often painful work of retraining muscles to stand straight for the generations to come?