Toward the end of the above video, Gray Cook says that medical professionals, such as physical therapists, need to remember that we do not “make” movement, but that movement simply happens. He goes on to say that a farmer doesn’t make a plant grow, they do the things that promote natural growth. In this same way, people in the fitness industry need to realize that they are not making fitness, but promoting it by creating an environment in which the natural processes of healthy movement will thrive. Such an environment must be created in obedience to the natural restrictions in the givenness of what you are working with.
What Gray Cook is articulating is an important principle Christians need to recognize in life in general. When it comes to authority, our job is to recognize, affirm, adhere to, and empower correct governing qualities and practices. We need to empower the right authorities to govern, not supplant them. We need to recognize rightful authority, not empower whoever/whatever is willing/able.
So if a mom is supposed to have the authority to govern her children, we can do things which assist her in accomplishing her task, in the ways she was called to accomplish it. When societies defer to families in making decisions for children, they are affirming a mother’s role, and when societies support mothers staying at home with their children, they are affirming the way a mother accomplishes the governing of her children.
Yet things don’t always work out as we want them to. There are mothers who abdicate their role, or simply don’t do a very good job at it. There are things we desire to do, such as endless lists of “after school activities” that may not be conducive to actual quality time between mothers and their children. We begin to screw up in affirming, submitting to and celebrating God-given authority when we begin to supplant mothers by accomplishing their tasks through other means, or in ways not natural to a mother.
So although a mother should be the ruling governor of her children, when we don’t approve of her, we may choose interfere with “Child Protective Services”, deeming that a politically run institution is more qualified in this case, and therefore should be awarded the parental role. The child needs guidance, and CPS has accomplished the mission sans mom. Looking to another example, we may invent applications through our various techno-gadgetry which will keep a child occupied, so a mother doesn’t have to interact with that child and teach them self-discipline while standing at the check-out line in the grocery store. Here the mother accomplished her task (sort of), but by failing to use the means natural to her nature, we have failed at the heart of the task-in this case: teaching self-discipline.
So just as healthy families require mothers who are able and willing to adhere to their God-given means of governing authority, so too healthy bodies will be defined by our ability to correctly understand and submit to the nature of a human body, and thus understand what kind of “authority” God has given our bodies, and how they are to govern in their roles.
High heels do a poor job in submitting to the nature of the foot, and they neither affirm nor support their ability to govern the work God gave feet to do. What high heeled shoes do, is affirm and support something beyond the mere work of the foot. Heels are employed in a greater social narrative of how we envision the qualitative nature of femininity. Yet they do this at a cost to the functioning nature of the foot.
Thus, progress in women’s footwear will not be found in pragmatically ugly flat-footwear, nor in daintily destructive stiletto heels. Progress in women’s footwear won’t be found in inventing a technologically elaborate heel that somehow doesn’t hurt the foot, nor will it be found in the barefoot boycott of footwear. Progress in women’s footwear will be found in women’s shoes which honor the masterpiece that is the human foot, while also saluting the God-given spirit of femininity. Progress in women’s footwear must find a way to do both simultaneously. It isn’t about specializing in “either/or”.
The same truth about our linking natural authority with natural governing power could and should be said about all things in Creation. It is up to us to discover and practice the meaning of this within the context of political systems, nutrition, farming practices, our physical fitness, and everything else. Francis Bacon said that “Nature to be commanded, must be obeyed.” Upon first inspection Gray Cook, Erwan LeCorre, and the rest of us might all agree, and yet this is a very slippery thing to say. What do we mean by “commanding” nature? God’s world isn’t such that we were given stewardship of it in order that we might make it do things via our commands- much less do our own private bidding. Returning to the example of the farmer, we are called to steward by interacting in ways that promote correct action/being. To say that we “make” or “command” anything reeks of a spirit which believes we are in control of this world, which was meant to serve us, rather than God. Such an idea is contrary to what Christians know of The Way of Grace and the Kingship of Christ. Alot rests in what is meant by “command” in Francis Bacon’s words. And for those of us more familiar with Bacon, we do well to be wary…
So often Christians today will profess that “God has a purpose for our lives”. Yet more often than not, we deny that God has ways in which He has designed the world so that these purposes can and should be accomplished. As pragmatists, we seek to accomplish a “witness” by whatever means we can contrive, bending only to the “nature” of God’s world inasmuch as is required to control and command it. Ironically, by doing this, we bear witness not to the authority of God, but to the rebellious and defiant heart of man. We tell the world that Christ is King, and then go about our day trying to bend His kingdom to whatever our heart desires, however our hearts desire it.
What we need is a marriage of what Gray Cook is talking about regarding the linking of and submitting to natural authority with natural governing power, with what Christians are talking about in regards to the Kingdom of Heaven. What we need is a better understanding of Colossians 1:15-20, where we see that all things are given their True authority by Christ, and are to receive their True governing power from Him as well, for His True purposes. Christ’s Creation, with Christ’s authority (nature) , and Christ’s power, for Christ’s purposes. Natural authority will have its natural power, the more we hear and obey the nature of Christ and His glorious purposes.