On the Food Network (which has probably done good things for my awareness of what cooking could be like, but not great things for my waistline), there’s a show called, “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives“1. After a few seasons, when the host (Guy Fieri) would visit a new restaurant, some of the cooks would start to allude to his signature eating posture, “The Hunch”. In this pose, Guy takes the entree (maybe a burger, sandwich, or some other “no utensils needed” meal), and hunches over the plate as he takes a bite. Typically, this is followed by one of his creative phrases to describe the food’s positive qualities.
While at Tae Kwon Do practice for one of my sons the other day, the instructor warned of the risks of “Tech neck” – the maladies suffered by those of us who spend too much time staring down at the glowing screens of our smartphones and tablets. Another parent – seated further down the bench from me said, “I think he’s talking about us”, as both of us were engrossed in our smartphones at the time.
It’s true that we can become known for our postures. Whether we have to be reminded to “sit up straight”, or can usually be found sprawled out on the couch, some of these postures aren’t particularly healthy. However, there are postures that are good for us.
Let me propose 4 postures that should define followers of Jesus Christ:
- Prayer. Talking with God doesn’t require bowing our head or folding our hands, although those are fine if it helps us focus on Him. However, whatever way that we may choose to pray, if our knees are a little sore from physically kneeling, or if our neck aches from the intensity of our intercession for others, that’s probably a justifiable discomfort. Jesus was so intent on His prayer in the garden of Gethsemane (because He knew what awaited Him), that His sweat was like drops of blood (see Luke 22:44).
- Bible Reading. Rather than Tech Neck, perhaps we could demonstrate “blessed stress”, when we get so into reading God’s Word to us that we forget to look up once in a while and rest our eyes. Note that it’s not inherently wrong to read the Bible electronically (so we might find ourselves with Tech Neck at the same time), but when our habits find us reading good news more often than not (regardless of the format), it will have an effect.
- Worship. There are a lot of ways to worship, and a lot of postures of worship, from raising our hands to lying on the ground face-down before God. Regardless of how we stand, sit, kneel, or fall on our faces before God, though, we can regularly show that we are giving glory to God, and recognizing His grace, mercy, and care for us.
- Service. Again, this isn’t a prescription for a specific type of behavior, but is rather a choice to live a lifestyle of service to others. If our feet are tired from walking to where we can help others, or if our shoulders are sore from carrying each others burdens, that’s what we might call a “good ache”.
May our postures – even if they give us a crick in our neck – be indications of the God that we love, and not just be driven by the buzzes, beeps, and blinks of electronics.
You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
Though he was God,
he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
he took the humble position of a slave
and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,
he humbled himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
Philippians 2:5-8 NLT
- Not an endorsement, nor a critique. You can make up your own mind about the show. ↩