Scripture ~ God has made everything beautiful in its time. God has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
Spiritual Focus ~ “I don’t think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains.”
Anne Frank, a German-Dutch girl of Jewish heritage who hid from the Nazis during WW II, famous for her posthumous publication, The Diary of a Young Girl
Breath Prayer ~ Hope Springs Eternal
Devotion ~ Today we begin a new devotional series entitled, “Hope Springs Eternal.” The phrase “Hope Springs Eternal” was coined in 1733 by Alexander Pope in his poem An Essay on [hu]Man and introduces the idea that people keep on hoping against all odds. We find hope by drawing on many different sources: our surroundings, our faith, our own experience, and the experience of others. Today we look at how beauty inspires us to hope.
When we observe the beauty around us, it reminds us that life goes on and leads to infinite avenues of hope. One wonders how Anne Frank found beauty that gave her hope in the tragedy of her life lived as a holocaust victim. Today many see beauty in the care for those who have suffered and find hope in receiving a vaccine that could end the pandemic. While we may search for outward signs of hope in beauty around us, at the end of the day, hope against all odds comes from something deeper, that is, the soul, the human heart.
People pray all kinds of fervent prayers for hope in times of hopelessness. American poet Emily Dickinson writes, “Hope is the thing with feathers.” The rock band Journey sang “Don’t stop believing.” However we experience hope, our deep desire for something to happen is as much an internal awareness as an external observation. Here lies the intersection with our yoga practice: the internal awareness of meditation with the external observation of the physical poses.
Three poses that prepare us for guided meditation are seated forward folds, puppy pose, and camel pose. These poses are most effective when we first ground ourselves and draw energy from the earth. These poses open the heart and calm the nervous system. Partnered with pranayama we can then explore the beauty of connecting our breath to God’s breath. From an internal awareness of this connection, we hope to experience the promise of our scripture today: that God makes everything beautiful in its time. Hope springs eternal!