“Practice moderation in moderation,” the yoga instructor repeated in a melodic chanting as she rhythmically struck the studio-sized mini gong. My mom and I attempted to stay balanced as we stifled laughter. This exercise in relaxation stretched more than just our muscles and tightly wound tendons. Admittedly we were yoga novices, far more accustomed to a brisk run or lengthy bike ride.
Yet despite my inability to keep a straight face, I think back to those words that almost circumvent themselves. Moderation. Moderation in moderation because without moderate moderation, moderation fails to exist in the first place. It seems redundant, doesn’t it?
Moderation in life equates to balance. And this balance is more than standing on one foot while reaching both arms above the head. This balance manifests itself in all areas. We are whole beings, and our continued existence requires necessary functions. We eat. We sleep. We work. We live in relationships with others.
Like spokes on a wheel, if any of these one areas extends too far, or is cut too short, the wheel ceases to be round. It can no longer roll with ease, or roll at all. If we eat in excess, or starve ourselves, we damage the body. If we forgo sleep or sleep all the time, we transform into either a zombie or sluggard. We must live in careful balance to function well.
The spiritual life mirrors the physical life, or perhaps the physical life mirrors the spiritual life. Regardless, our intangible existence consists of a wheel with many spokes. Spiritual food and water consist of the Word: reading, memorizing, studying, teaching and meditating. We starve ourselves if we do not consume regularly.
Our spiritual sleep manifests itself in the rest found in fellowship with others. Translation: hanging out. Our souls find comfort and company in the presence of others. We figuratively let our hair down.
Exercise in our relationship with Jesus consists of being obedient, doing the things that God want us to do. We learn the strenuous exercise of listening.
Finally, breathing shows itself as prayer. This aspect is most sublime. We fool ourselves into thinking we can survive without oxygen, because we can hold our breath. But it does not work. It does not last. We suffocate.
All facets of spiritual growth are necessary, like their counterparts in the physical world. Pray that we have the awareness to meet our own needs. Otherwise, the wheel just won’t roll.
What is prayer to you?
How do you pursue these aspects of your spiritual life?
Is any on component out of balance? Why?
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