I've heard multiple times from Christians that yoga is a pagan form of exercise, created by Eastern religions that focus on yourself as being "Divine" in some way. I haven't really studied yoga, and, while it may have been created for that purpose, as a pastor I once knew said when asked if his church would accept someone's lottery money, "It's been in the devil's hands long enough!" ha! So, if yoga really was once created to be a pagan form of exercise, I'm excited to see that it is now bringing me closer to my Savior! Only our Father can get glory from something that initially started against Him.
In my constant failing of trying to get into a routine of being active and healthy, I've tried several YouTube videos of "Christian yoga." I've found there can be some that fit every category imaginable including, but not limited to: super cheesy, extremely helpful physically but only Christian in terms of the background music, and the one I did today. Today, I found myself in a state of prayer and focus on the Lord. Throughout that time ,I also was considerably engaged physically. (I may or may have lost focus at the point that I couldn't feel my knees, but she did a great job of reengaging me throughout the video.)
In today's video, the instructor began the time sharing a quote from a book she was reading called A Contemplative Pastor, by Eugene H. Peterson.. After I completed the video, I looked up the book and author to discover that he was (he passed away in 2018) a Presbyterian minister and also the author of The Message... another controversial topic for another day. I share that to say that I haven't really read much of The Message, nor have I read any of his other books, but I think, as with yoga, that there can be some really great points and ideas taken from someone I may not agree with on everything. That being said, here's the quote she shared from the book about three verb tenses found in the Greek Language....
“The active voice initiates an action. For example, I counsel my friend. In the passive voice, I receive the action that another initiates. I am counseled by my friend. But when I use the middle voice, I actively participate in the result of an action that another initiates. I take counsel."
She went on to explain, "There’s this middle voice that’s the cooperating voice. Someone else initiates an action, and I am participating in it. And this is what he (the author) says is the 'language of prayer'.“ I love that thought!
As I began my time of yoga hearing that, I became increasingly aware that I want to "actively participate" in the counsel that the Lord intends for me to receive. I want to not only hear His will for my life, but I want to DO His will for my life! It's not some new concept, I understand, but it resonated with me more today than usual.
I'm not sure where you all are right now in your walk with the Lord, but I am in this place where God is increasing my roles. He is putting some REALLY HEAVY things on my plate. Things that have led me to feel like I need some Christian yoga in my life on a regular basis. (Insert all of the Christian emojis here.) Things that can, and do, bring me to tears in an instant if I dwell on them. But, today, I needed this reminder that not only does the Lord have a plan and I can choose to be part of it, but He will counsel me through it! What He's putting on my plate feels overwhelming and impossible at times, but He continues to prove that He is faithful to complete the work He began.
Many people like to say, "The Lord will never give you more than you can handle." Oh how false that statement is! The Lord will DEFINITELY give you more than you can handle because He wants to show you that HE can handle it! How else would he get the glory from using such broken vessels to accomplish His amazing work?
As I continue to struggle at finding a balance between taking care of my own body and worrying about the bodies of women and girls that the Lord has privileged me to serve, I want this to stay with me. I want to actively partake in the counsel that the great Counselor is initiating in my life. Nothing more. And nothing less.