While working as a nurse and caregiver during WWI, Joseph Pilates refined his exercise methods. “Resistance and load” would no longer be avoided – they would be conquered, molded into submission, and utilized as a tool to improve the life of the user. Pilates stimulates smaller stabilizing muscles thus providing “core” strength and balance necessary for proper body alignment, ease of motion, and balanced living. Knowing the proper starting position of any Pilates exercise is of paramount importance. It may at first be necessary to use props such as balls, pillows or cushions to insure proper posture. This will focus resistance to the areas intended. If the starting position is not correct the body cannot benefit from the resistance and load. Exercise becomes a daily grind of wasted time and wasted effort with little or no evidence of progress. However, proper posture, disciplined force, focused concentration and patience result in the regeneration of stabilizing muscles and the strengthening of the body from its core through its extremities.
Spiritual conditioning is very much the same. Resistance and load is no stranger to spiritual lives. While we may, “suck it up and suck it in” externally, internally our very core can be under tremendous stress. Knowing the proper starting position of any spiritual exercise is of paramount importance:
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary [the devil] prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” – 1 Peter 5:6-11
When the Author and Finisher of our faith speaks so clearly there is little more that man can contribute. Until Wednesday, God bless!