Friday, June 17, 2016

Sagging pants. Truth.Be strong.

The yard needed mowing so I donned some old baggy capri's and worn out top to tackle the job. With each pass around the yard I feel the capri's sliding a bit. Not too bad, just enough that it does at some point become uncomfortable making it necessary to grab a belt loop hiking them back up. They are left over from my heavier weight days. Kept for just such purposes as I didn't want to ruin the good ones and frankly too cheap to buy some just for yard work. :) But they do sag. And no, I don't have a belt. 

And yes as I hike them up my thoughts go those individuals who actually desire to have their pants sag as they  'strut their stuff'. Though I confess to not knowing how popular this still is nowadays. But, did they, do they see it as being cool, sexy, tough, or what? - I really don't understand but it doesn't matter and is beside the point.

The point my mind went to is how restricting it actually becomes. Honestly, my thought as I hike them back up is not that 'oh, no - or oh, cool - how will it look to others' but 'hey, they are hindering my freedom of movement'! If they keep falling my stride gets smaller trying to keep them up, or I could get tripped up and fall!

Then I pictured what one might do if faced with a situation where they may need to run for their life, or have to defend themselves for some reason or other. I am curious here. Do they at some point realize that those sagging pants could result in their injury or ultimate defeat in a fight as they try to run or move out of range or whatever. Just pondering here. But I tend to think that it would become apparent rather early on that something needs to be done. Perhaps I am wrong.

Anyway, since those thoughts led me down the path of needing freedom of movement to defend oneself I was reminded of the Bible study I am currently going through. It is based on the verses in Ephesians 6:10-18 as Paul talks to the followers of Christ about being prepared for life's situations by putting on the Armor of God to defend ourselves against a very real enemy. Unseen though he may be, he is not a fictional character.

The need for this armor in a nutshell is in vs. 11 - "...that you will be able to stand against all the strategies of the devil." There is a spiritual battle going on. And yes, I understand that if you are not a follower of Christ or a believer of God this may well seem quite foolish and ignorant to you. That's ok. You can choose to stop here or not. It's up to you. But what do you have to lose if you continue reading?

The first piece of armor that is needed? TRUTH. Brace yourself, protect yourself with the belt of truth wrapped around your loins. The middle portion of the body from the bottom of the ribs to your hip bone. Abdomen, pelvis, low back, hip, thighs - THE CORE of your physical strength. Without support, strength in this area of the body, the abdomen supporting the back, supporting the hips, supporting the pelvis and thighs - one is weak and hindered from functioning optimally. Protection and support to this area is wise. Put on the belt of truth. 
It is quite doubtful that the implication is to have it 
loosely wrapped, but snuggly in place.

Which is extremely needful if one is faced with an opponent, a need to flee, fight or to stand strongly in place - for whatever reason. To save oneself, to defend oneself, someone else, an outright battle or just to keep ones balance or ability to perform tasks in daily endeavors. Our core needs support, protection, girding up. This is a fact in the physical realm as well as the spiritual realm. Every person understands the concept of core strength whether they have actually thought about it or not. And whatever your belief may be regarding the spiritual realm - well I contest that everyone does have some belief system about a spiritual realm - it does or doesn't exist.

But one cannot deny that if a spiritual realm does exist 
a strong core (in their belief system) is essential just as 
a strong core in the physical body is essential.

Back to that first piece of armor we are encouraged as followers of Christ to have in place. TRUTH. "...gird your loins with truth." Seemingly antiquated language granted. But not out of the realm of understanding the meaning here.
What is used to hold bridges in place? girders. They support, they brace. What do women and yes sometimes men use to provide support to the back as well as to hold things in place - sometimes for vanity, but not always-girdles. They encircle the waist, give support, protection, help.

So the idea here is to wrap something around your loins - a belt, or a band to brace the area, to give support to the area, to protect yourself. 

"...gird your loins with truth." - pelvis area which has already been identified as the core of our physical strength.

"..with truth." - Truth is the underlying girder, the CORE support. I contest this to be the case in both the spiritual as well as our physical realm. But Paul is speaking strictly spiritual in this context.

Without truth, an absolute truth, as the CORE of our belief system of life we are spiritually exposed, weak, and prone to things slipping out of place. 
Putting self in a position of being unable to defend oneself in an outright spiritual battle or even to keep ones balance spiritually speaking as we go about our daily life.  We face being tossed about, controlled by whatever 'truth' is touted by others (and ourselves). 
Whether it is the scientific community, the intellectual community, the psychiatric community, other religious communities, our own feelings, desires, emotions - the bottom line - these truths are men's philosophies which are not stable and very changeable. They are not able to provide core support, strength or protection in times of necessity - in injurious or life and death circumstances.

Without an absolute standard of truth there is a weakness we are not able to overcome. We become wobbly and unsteady. There must be an absolute standard by which we measure our belief system against. 

If truth is not unchangeable but relative then everyone is free to do what seems right in their own eyes, under their belief system, which becomes anarchy. In which case there is chaos and loss of freedom as whoever can intimidate or overpower others into his way of thinking dominates and rules.

Yet, all are free to argue and believe that truth is relative, there is no absolute truth but at the end of the day the argument to that effect doesn't make it so. The reality of life bears out that there is an absolute truth. No matter what one believes in or about life and death apart from a belief in the God of the Bible, be it annihilation, re-incarnation, karma or the myriad of other ideas people hold onto regarding death/life - physical death is a fact of life for every man.

"And just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment, so also Christ was offered once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for him." Hebrews 9:27

- There is an absolute truth and it is found in God, His Word as presented in Jesus Christ who came to testify to truth.

"Jesus responded, "You say I am a king. 
Actually, I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. 
All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true." John 18:37

-There is an absolute truth and it is found in God, His Word as presented in Jesus Christ who is truth personified.
"I am the way, the truth, and the life. 
No man comes to the father except through me. John 4:16

All that because I did not 'gird up' my sagging pants with a belt. Thankfully, I was only faced with a temporary inconvenience rather than an eternal regret. A regret of not being prepared when facing the ultimate truth/reality of life - physical death.

TRUTH. What is your belief system built upon? How strong is your CORE belief?

Don't be like Pilate - the one Jesus was responding to in the above verse - who after hearing Jesus' claim to have come to testify to truth asked: "What is truth?" But not really desiring an answer, he turns and walks away. (John 18:38)

Don't be caught off guard. 
"Put on the whole armor of God that you will be able to stand firm against all the strategies of the devil...Stand your ground putting on the belt of truth..." Ephesians 6;10, 14

Until next time may you rest in God's grace and peace to sustain you one day at a time.

1 comment:

  1. The really important stuff always gets buried in the daily grind. Truth really is the central issue.