Friday, July 04, 2014

God as a masseuse

I was amused not long ago when a minister posted on Facebook her reaction to a man's comment that whenever he couldn't find a parking spot, he asked God to help him...and he found a spot. The minister's comment was that reduced God to a valet.
But then I thought about it and realized I sometimes make God into my own personal masseuse, though I don't think it's a reduction. Yoga has become a spiritual exercise for me--not so much when I do the poses. Then I actually have a hard time clearing my mind and turning off all the thoughts and concerns of daily living. But when I get to the relaxation/meditation phase, it instantly becomes prayer for me. A time when I talk to God and try my hardest to go one step farther and listen to God.
The yoga/meditation sequence I was taught and find oh-so
- helpful begins with sort of cataloging your body as you relax each area of muscles, and I have done it enough that I can feel some muscles give way--my temporomandibular muscles, for instances. So I begin my relaxation by asking God to help me relax, to feel his peace flowing through my body. By the time I get to the back of my neck. I can feel hands massaging the tense muscles...and to me they are God's hands. Same for my low back and hips which are giving me more trouble as I age.
After I am relaxed, head to toe, I discuss all kinds of things with God--family and friends, personal concerns (even the book I'm working on), the state of the union and the world (which I'm sure must make him weep), and I ask for strength to live my life as he would have me.
I was once in a brown bag lunch group where we discussed our faith, each encouraged to share only as much as he or she wanted. I liked the group and was sorry when it fell apart. But one woman said she would never think of asking God in prayer for anything for herself. I think I do that all the time, sort of like the man with his parking spot. "Dear God, where did I put my keys?" Sometimes he helps, sometimes he leaves me on my own.
But my yoga prayer is a different, more spiritual experience. I don't think God minds being my masseuse.

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