Yesterday I had chiropractic treatment which I began some years ago following unexpected severe back pain. As I have ongoing problems with my back, legs and posture, I now need to have regular ‘maintenance’ sessions.
I’m fortunate to have a very skilled chiropractor who is always smiling, calm and welcoming and very good at relieving my painful symptoms. He rebalances me. I don’t have to tell him which bit or bits of me need attention; he always knows exactly where the problem is and what he’ll need to do to ease it.
But sometimes I wonder what he thinks when he sees my name on his list of patients for the day. Each time I go for an appointment, I seem to have a different problem. I’m sure he must sometimes think “what’s wrong with her now?” (Due to his professionalism, I’m happy to say he never shows that – even if he’s thinking it.)
As the discomfort in one area eases, it seems to move to another area or an old problem is triggered and needs further work. I need to be straightened out constantly, have my pain eased and, sometimes, follow a course of exercises to try and maintain progress and (try and) prevent future problems.
As I was laying there today, I thought about the constantly changing and recurring problems and issues I bring to God. I imagined him saying, ‘Not her again. What’s wrong now? What does she get up to between ‘appointments’ to get into this state? Will she never learn how to look after herself and prevent these problems?’
Then I remembered that God would never say, or even think, ‘Not her again’ or ‘Will she never learn?’ He’s my spiritual chiropractor. No appointment needed. Whether I’ve got a new problem, or an old one has reared its head again, His ease and relief are always on offer. As with my chiropractor, I don’t have to tell him which bit or bits of me need attention; he always knows exactly where the problem is and what he’ll guide me to do to ease it.
Whatever issues I have which are putting me out of kilter, causing tension, perhaps physical pain and, sometimes, even depression, God is always there in those situations with me, alongside me. He knows the source of the problems and pains I suffer and His gentle hands are always ready to work on me: easing out the tensions, rebalancing and strengthening me.
I know that to maintain my progress, I need to exercise and keep challenging myself to grow. Yet, I also know that I sometimes need to rest, to consolidate and to reflect.
I’m not good at remembering the exercises my chiropracter sometimes recommends. Often, I start with good intentions, doing them daily but other priorities take over and my good intentions wane. Sometimes, by the time I get home from my appointment, I can’t even remember exactly how to do the exercises!
My spiritual chiropractor, though, is always there on call, through prayer, 24/7 with a gentle reminder, or, sometimes a more forceful prompt, about what I need to be doing to get myself into better shape – and then keep myself in shape – for Him. I don’t always see results at the end of each ‘treatment’ but I can feel myself being rebalanced and strengthened. It’s not pain free but I’m definitely walking taller as a result.
A book recommendation:
I’m so enjoying working through the spiritual exercises relating to prayer found in Amy Boucher Pye’s book 7 Ways to Pray.* It’s given me a real hunger to explore new ways of connecting with God through scripture and it has already become a really valued source of inspiration.
The background to each way of praying is interesting and each kind of prayer practice is clearly explained with examples from Amy’s own experience. This book is a ‘must’ for every Christian’s bookshelf and makes a wonderful gift to share with others.
*7 Ways to Pray Time-tested practices for encountering God
Publisher: SPCK Publishing (2021)
ISBN 978-0-281-08496-8 Further resources at: https://amyboucherpye.com/books/7-ways-to-pray/