Lenten Meditation IV: Sweat Like You Pray (part II)
The authentic spiritual path isn't about moving away from, it's about moving into. A spiritual path that takes you deeper and deeper into true life in its fullness and vitality doesn't take you away from your deepest, darkest fears, worries, anxieties, doubts, stresses, but it takes you into them, all the way into the center of them.
— Rob Bell
When I heard the statement, I scribbled it down on a piece of paper — "You are aligning yourself witht he deepest force in the universe."
It is what God meant when he called Moses. It is what God meant when he told Moses His true name — YHWH (I AM).
Go aligned himself with the mistreated, the discouraged and the broken hearted.
Moses had the confusion of being raised with a dual cultural mentality — Egyptian royalty and and being a Jew. He witnessed his people used as slaves. He killed an Egyptian that was abusive to one of his people. Instead of standing up, he went into exile in the mountains of Moab away from the political atmosphere of his people's identity, his guilt as murderer and his identity as a Jew. He even took employment as a shepherd and married outside of his faith. Prayer was never a hinderance for Moses, his humanity was.
Yet God wanted him to lead his people out of captivity despite all of this. God even wanted him when Moses told Him he couldn't speak in public.
God wants the full spectrum of our humanity. Better yet, he wants to use it to change the world.
Ugly things happen when we sweat. Our pores open, we get drippy, the mat gets slippery and things get smelly. We walk out of yoga classes soaked with yoga clothes clinging to us uncomfortably. Sweat is something we are not afraid to take on. We do not let this sweat thing get in the way. We return to the mat over and over again. We let the practice take us deep and do what it was designed 5,000 years ago to do. There are things this practice can teach us through sweat and moving meditation in owning out own spiritual path — through sweating like we pray.
Surrender — We begin to know better than defining what a spiritual path should look like for others. Our paths are untraditional — informed by our yoga practice that boosts the contemplation, prayer and worship of our spiritual life.
Authenticity — We start to know better than saying that things are okay or going through the motions. We find ourselves side-stepping intimacy with God less and less. The veil drops and what is revealed is that God wants our authenticiy, even when we feel like the flow has stopped and dried up. When we know not to compare or measure our paths against the progress of others. We explore the uniqueness he imparted within us to flourish.
Attention — Paying attention and being present become the same things. We know that God wants our attention, and we pursue this practice to be present and to give our attention to Him more fully.
Christ came in his full humanity to lead us into our full humanity. Through him we embrace the full spectrum of human experience. He wants our humanity with all of the paradoxes are there to experienced: belief and doubt, certainty and unknown, clarity and ambiguity. Disruption, sensation, imbalance — we realize these are all signs that something real, something good is happening. We embrace these things every time we come to the mat. Let this practice take you further. Sweat like you pray.
(Enjoy Do You Hear Me by Seeker Servant)