So we have no reason to despair. Despite the fact that our outer humanity is falling apart and decaying, our inner humanity is breathing in new life every day.
You see, the short-lived pains of this life are creating for us an eternal glory that does not compare to anything we know here.
So we do not set our sights on the things we can see with our eyes. All of that is fleeting; it will eventually fade away. Instead, we focus on the things we cannot see, which live on and on. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18 VOICE)
Can I get a little silly with you guys for a second? I promise it’s symbolic but in the spirit of fun and yoga, have an open mind with me!
Imagine with me if you would:
You’re in warrior 2.
Left leg forward, toes to the front of your mat.
Knee above the ankle, left hip is open and away from the midline.
Your right leg is extended behind, foot at a 90 degree angle.
Right hip is open, away from the midline too.
You press low and strong into your bottom body.
The tailbone is soft. The chest faces to the right side of the mat, along with the hips.
Your arms, outstretched, parallel to the ground, shoulders away from ears.
Gaze over the left hand.
And you’re breathing.
Aaaand you’re breathing.
Aaaaand you’re breathing some more.
10 breaths, maybe more, and do you feel the burn in your quads yet just reading this?! Because I feel it writing it!
If not, stand up and give it a try. Every inhale, count to 4. Hold it 3. Exhale 5. Hold 3. Repeat. Do that 10 times and come back to us. We’ll wait.
(This is me waiting).
You good? You got the sore legs? You get it now? Okay.
Do you know what I call that?
MY OUTER HUMANITY WASTING AWAY.
My body, my flesh – it’s finite. This body will waste away, as from dust I came, and to dust I will return.
It is the outer shell of my humanhood, and when I work it hard, when I deny it the relief of quitting or moving out of a pose, it screams out in agony as it’s wasting away all of the energy it entered into that pose with.
But it is in those moments of utter exhaustion and perseverance that our INNER HUMANITY – our spirits, our souls, the infinite, immortal parts of our beings – are being made new all the time.
Every time the mind overcomes the matter, every time we bring our flesh into submission to our will, we learn a little bit more about self control, determination, and the power of our will to choose.
Hear MEEE. I am not saying we are little Gods. But we are little Christs, okay? (That’s literally what “Christian” means). We’re to be a reflection of Him and transformed into His likeness through the processes of sanctification. And this can be one of those things.
Because we ARE given a choice.
In every.single.thing. we are given a choice: God or the world?
Am I going to give into the thoughts and cravings and temptations of my flesh? Or am I going to, in my self control, take these thoughts and desires captive in submission to Christ?
In warrior 2, our obedience to maintain our pose may earn us the glory of nice quads, glutes, and hammys. But obedience to the LORD? Guys!
Paul says that’s a glory unlike anything we know here!
Beyond strength and muscle definition, we’re talking full on image bearing! Full glory of God! Complete wholeness! Can you imagine?
Later on, Paul tells us not to fix our eyes on the things of this world. In yoga, we call our fixed gaze a “drishti.” As Paul states, Jesus and the eternal things not of this world are our drishti.
We survive – nay, THRIVE in our poses, in our difficult circumstances, in our pain, in any condition that causes our outer humanity, our FLESH, to cry out and waste away by having our eyes fixed on the eternal reward for our steadfast submission to Jesus as HE breathes into us new life each day!