Scripture ~ “… always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason to hope.” 1 Peter 3:15
Spiritual Focus ~ “I think that hope, that ability to envision, to imagine a better way, and then apply yourself to it, is the way to climb out of a hole, is the way to build a better life, is the way to build a better community and a better country.” —Deval Patrick, African American politician, civil rights lawyer, author, and businessman who served as governor of Massachusetts from 2007 to 2015.
Breath Prayer ~ Hope Springs Eternal
Devotion ~ Hope is defined as a positive expectation, a desire for something good to happen. Hope is by nature future oriented. However, hope can also be in the moment at the intersection of past memories and hoped-for futures. Hope may be experienced as an indwelling, individual emotion but is most certainly supported and enhanced outwardly in community. We human beings are social by nature and created in the image of God who finds a home in the communion of saints. As individuals our hope is experienced communally because we depend on community relationships to survive and strive for a better future.
A community that hopes together can bring about change for a better future. This is especially witnessed when a community suffers a devastating crisis—a crisis where we can only hope to survive by coming together and “building back better”. If we have learned nothing from current events, the pandemic notwithstanding, it is that we hope in community to survive and envision a better way of life. Community is God’s plan for creation and our defense for why we hope.
Yoga invites us to be present in the moment while acknowledging our past and our hoped-for future without clinging to either of those ideas. One way to practice this concept of presence is through the standing asanas in hatha yoga. In warrior poses the back leg represents the past and the front leg the future. The back leg is the anchor or the certainty of the pose and the front leg anticipates a forward movement or a future shift. To find the essence of the pose, that is the hope, we can neither live too far in the past nor lean too far into the future. We practice drawing both past and future into the moment, centering both spatially and temporally, between the two legs and ideas. When we build warrior poses in this way, we connect our physical practices to the indwelling sense of hope. This centered expression of hope, when lived out in community, becomes the kind of future God envisions for us.