The Scripture ~ Jesus said, “Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.” John 16:24
The Spiritual Focus ~ “Friendship is born at the moment when one person says to another, WHAT! You Too? I thought I was the only one.” ~ CS Lewis
The Breath Prayer ~ Inhale ~ I am connected, Exhale ~ within and with others and/or
Inhale ~ I experience, Exhale ~ Joy
The Devotion ~ For people who have decided to journey through Lent with a specific spiritual practice, the third week may be the hardest time to stay committed to the journey. If we pattern our Lenten journey after Jesus’ time in the wilderness, we might have spiritual disciplines of prayer, meditation and fasting. As we read the biblical story of Jesus in the wilderness, we may notice that Jesus is “alone,” but remains connected to God through his spiritual disciplines. He is also tempted by evil. This dichotomy is something you can relate to when you’re staying committed to a spiritual practice. However, First Testament stories of wilderness journeys are journeys that tend to be experienced in community. God goes with the people, is present to them and guides relationships within the community to support and facilitate joy during a difficult journey.
In our yoga practice last week, we introduced the chakras or energy centers of the body. Whereas the root chakra is about survival, the second, or sacral, chakra (svadisthana) is about connectedness both within and with others. The sacral chakra is associated with the color orange. The location of this chakra is two inches below the navel and the lumbar spine. When this energy center is balanced, we are emotionally stable, have healthy attitudes and behaviors in our relationships, and we are creative, especially in problem solving. In faith integrated yoga we might see the energy of the second chakra as the Spirit connecting us with God and with each other, reminding us that we are never alone.
One spiritual practice that is available anywhere, anytime is to do a body scan. We pause and breathe to truly connect with what is going on within our bodies. After settling in to our bodies, we express gratitude for any joy we experience. We connect to God’s Spirit in our breath and turn our attention to the relationships around us, realizing we are not alone. We are not “the only one…”