Jun 2, 2008

Stand up Straight

When an archer desires to shoot his arrows successfully, he first takes great pains over his posture and aligns himself accurately with his mark. It should be the same for you who are about to shoot the head of the wicked devil. Let us be concerned first for the good order of sensations and then for the good posture of inner thoughts. - St John Chrysostom

Chrysostom's statement caused me to stop and think of how often, when I am being "attacked" or sense spiritual oppression, I take a defensive position - just hoping to avoid the arrows flying around me. There I am crouching in the corner with my shield held up in front of me.

St. Chrysostom paints a very different scenario, one that makes me recall the consummate archer in Lord of the Rings - Legolas. When sensing attack, he lengthened himself to full height, drew the arrow from his quiver, and with great precision placed it against his bow. There was intention, concentration and a narrowing of focus, as he zeroed in on his target and gauged the distance between them. In archery, you don't have the advantage of the "shotgun" effect - hundreds of pieces fanning out toward the enemy in hopes that enough of them will mortally wound him. No, you have one arrow, carefully placed and intentionally directed toward your foe. The success of the directed arrow depends on the physical and mental disciplines of the past and the ability to let them play out at the exact moment of danger. Our battles are not won on the battlefield. They are won in our daily position before God and our participation in the life of the Body of Christ - prayer, humility, confession and worship. A posture check might be in order.

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