Strengthening our CORE to CARRY the CROSS
Practicing the Pilates movements helps us find and strengthen the core muscles of the body. The core, when strengthened, allows us to stand upright, exerting power and control outward into the larger muscles of the body. This results in stability and protection as we seek firmness and strength. Practicing all of the Pilates principles such as awareness, alignment, concentration, precision, control, and flow is necessary to strengthen and build these core muscles. This inner core is activated during our movements anchoring us with a stable center, the powerhouse of the body. With this powerful inner “house” we have the protection necessary for the unexpected movements that our bodies experience on a daily basis.
Our spiritual lives must also be anchored by a strong core in order to stand upright and perform our daily movements with power, control, and firm strength. We see this lived out in Jesus’ journey to the CROSS. As he walked through His daily life on His way to fulfilling God’s purpose for Him, He maintained awareness of God’s Word and alignment with God’s will. He maintained precision and control through focus by keeping the breath of the Holy Spirit flowing through Him. The firm strength that resulted was necessary in order for Him to carry His Cross. In His final steps we see Jesus showing us how to move against the resistance of the world. We know that He did not need Simeon to help carry the cross for Him, He did not need to fall, after all, He was JESUS! But, He did it to show us the importance of moving forward with our cross, the task that God has for us, despite the earthly resistance. Maybe we need support, assistance. Perhaps we will stumble or need to rest to regain our strength to move on. But we still move on, move forward, carry the CROSS. We do this because we have a strong CORE foundation. When we engage our CORE in Christ, we can move against resistance (whether it is our own or the world’s) Just like our physical core sends energy to our body from the center out, so does our spiritual core! With our strong CORE we can stand upright with power and control, with firm strength moving through the things of this life but still activated through the CORE—our powerhouse.
Just as we engage our central core for Pilates by incorporating the Pilates principles, we must engage Christ as our CORE so that He, through His Word and Holy Spirit can be active in our lives. We seek to Carry the Cross, walk the path for us. This is our goal, a strong core so we can move with focus and power through God’s plan for us– despite the difficulties of this life. Psalm 18:2 tells us, “The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” When God is at the center of our lives, He is our strong core. He protects us from within giving us the strength we need to move through the journey we take in life- upright and with stability. The psalm goes on to say, “As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him… It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.” With His Word as our center, we take refuge in this SHIELD that is our CORE, as we seek to CARRY the CROSS.