Welcome to Part 2 of the Christian Yoga for When You Need A Shake Up video series!
This series is inspired by the book 40 Days of Decrease by Alicia Britt Chole. This video draws from Day 15 of the book where we are challenged to fast spiritual self-protection.
In Part 1 we focused on opening those bound up places in our heart, welcoming into the light those doubts and questions and disappointments that have been swirling around. God is more than big enough to handle them. Their power exists only in the darkness, but once they’re brought into the light, they lose their grip.
This week we’re drawing our attention to one of our most major coping strategies in the face of pain – self-protection.
In her book 40 Days of Decrease, Alicia writes, “Uncertain that God will protect us, we proactively protect ourselves. To avoid further emotional and theological pain, we lower our expectations, edit our dreams, and shrink back from God through fear-driven planning, endless worry, hypervigilance, or the numbing of hope. With each choice to self-protect, another layer is added to insulate our hearts from attentiveness to God’s presence.”
The key to dusting off the numbness in our lives is presence.
When we read Bible stories we tend to zoom in on the one event at the expense of seeing the entire picture. You’ve probably heard the story about Jesus entering Jerusalem on a donkey with everyone laying palm branches and their coats along the road (maybe even as a kid you remember bringing palm branches to church). But I never really made the connection that just days later this same crowd who was shouting Jesus’ Kingship was calling for his crucifixion. The Disciples, who would soon lock themselves in a room after Jesus’ death were welcomed and affirmed, Judas was still invited to the communion table that night even though he was about to betray Jesus. But Jesus knew all this and yet He still showed up, He still participated fully, He stayed present.
What must Jesus have believed about Father God and about himself in order to stay present? What must you and I believe about Father God and about ourselves in order to feel safe enough to drop the wall of self-protection and remain present?