I grew up in a culture that didn’t really pay much attention to the connection between body and spirit. Spiritual things were things you couldn’t see and my physical body was nothing more than a shell that I would shed someday in the great bye and bye. But over the years I’ve grown to see a powerful connection between body and spirit. Years ago I began to notice that, on days when I exercised I could stay more focused during my prayer time and fall asleep more easily. It was almost as if my body was telling me that it needed its fair share of time and attention. In recent years, I’ve also noticed that, on mornings when I take time to meditate or engage in centering prayer before I leave for work, I manage my work life better. I have more patience with people and I don’t find little inconveniences so irritating. I’m not as apt to “blown them up” in my mind.
Today, many of us deal with a lot of stress and have over-extend ourselves and we’ve sometimes forgotten about the need to balance the needs of our bodies, minds and spirits. The prophet Elijah knew what it felt like for his body, mind and spirit to just kind of collapse under the weight of stress and over-work. His story is found in the bible in 1 Kings, chapter 17 through 2 Kings, chapter 2. The culmination of the story comes in 1 Kings, chapter 19, when (all by himself) Elijah climbs his way to the top of a mountain and recognizes the presence of God in quiet and stillness. Twice, God asks Elijah the question, “What are you doing here?” What a great existential question for someone in the midst of an existential crisis! Sometimes we all need to take a moment to get away to a quiet place and acknowledge just how tired we might be and to remember that are bodies are living organisms, not machines; and that our spirits live and find expression within those bodies.
That’s what spirituality is really about: finding those ways to be attentive to God’s presence in our bodies, minds and spirits – alone and with one another… because when Elijah came down from that mountain, his first assignment from God was to find a partner, named Elisha, who would help him manage the work and the stress.
On Monday, September 17, at 6 p.m. at Trinity, we’ll be talking together about this connection and need for balance between body, mind and spirit at our new gathering, Trinity Fusion. We’ll also hear from a local yoga instructor about how yoga helps us maintain that healthy connection between body, mind and spirit. There’ll be an opportunity to learn more about centering prayer, an ancient form of prayer that helps us “tune in” to the quiet, peaceful presence of God in our lives. I hope you can join us! Learn more at: http://www.trinitylafayette.org/fusion.html
TRINITY FUSION – Connect, Discover, Grow