We have been reading the Chronicles of Narnia, so this picture spoke powerfully to me this morning.
place (a picture or photograph) in a new frame.
frame or express (words or a concept or plan) differently.
A Time to Be Still
Lie: ________(fill in the blank with anything other than Jesus Christ) can heal me or bring salvation or exaltation.
Truth: These means are brining me to the feet of my Savior so HE can heal me, save me, exalt me.
For the first time in nearly 3 years of yoga practice, I have been asked to do less yoga. I have kept up with a simple 3 minute Kriya daily, but not the hour plus I have been accustom to doing. As I have been prayerful, less yoga has also come with less of almost everything. At first I thought it was my ego crying out to stop me in my own tracks as time spent in these ways has propelled me forward as I never dreamed possible. Ironically, filling my time with spiritual pursuits was actually my ego's attempt to distract me from a deeply-seated lie. My willingness to submit to this time of stillness despite not seeing clearly why has allowed for a great re-framing. It has been in slowing down and living more purposefully that the Spirit has been able to show me the truth. An essential understanding and a small tweak that will completely change my future.
For me because yoga, energy work, essential oils, the mind/body/spirit connection in general has become very comfortable and many aspects even "scientifically explainable" and I cannot deny what I have experienced, I didn't realize I had elevated it in my own mind to a level it isn't actually. As I have reflected, I had the incorrect understanding even in the beginning of my exposure to these wonderful technologies. That part of my ego that desperately wants to cling onto the belief that "I can control my experience" and that "I can fix my life and myself"jumped at the chance to take things out of context.
As God has gently reframed my feeble understanding with eternal truth, I can see with honesty that I had allowed these things to become a form of idolatry. The more I allowed it to settle, the more I could see the truthfulness. I was turning to His means rather than to Him. Based on where I was at with my level of experience and understanding when I first started, it was enough. For the first time in my life, I have begun turning to God and Jesus Christ. The Savior has been patient as for years because of a hazy understanding I have not fully given Him the praise that is completely His. I knew (and know) that I had found truth and that God is in it, I just didn't clearly know HOW. I knew (and know) that God is a God of order and acts according to Law. He is Law. Even when we may not understand what His laws are, we still are acting or being acted upon by them. I just didn't cite back His laws to Him and His goodness. Now as I have a "peg," so to speak to "hang" deeper understanding on, He can show me in more detail. These details, although seemingly minor will make all the difference on the continuation of my eternal journey ahead. I have the feeling that in the coming future, things will be full speed ahead again. This has bolstered my courage to know that truly it is His light I reflect as I follow The Spirit. I can let go of my rigid expectations of processes and allow the Spirit to flow through me. I don't need to fear that I will do the wrong thing or say the wrong thing. It isn't about me or what I can do. It's about Him working through me.
It has never been wrong for me to meditate or go on guided imageryjourneys or apply essential oils. It won't be wrong for me to continue either as long as I understand it in context. In fact, in proper context, there is even more power than I realized. Whatever makes up my daily devotion, I am using these means to access the atonement and His grace: ~It's an invitation to Him and to God that I want them to participate in my daily life. ~It quiets my body and my mind so my spirit can communicate more clearly with the eternal. ~It can be an opportunity to worship Him, to rejoice in His goodness and mercy, to praise His name. ~It gives me an opportunity to practice exact obedience. Then He opened up my mind and shifted things a bit to come back around and reenforce what He just taught me. What if I was doing the same thing with my scripture study or prayers or temple attendance? These can be idolatry too. What if I thought those things could heal me, save me, or exalt me? However, as I do them faithfully knowing the context in which they are intended, they can be a sign that I want Divine intervention in my daily life, that I am a more receptive vessel, and that I can worship Him, and allow Him to grow my faith. Was it the river or bathing 7 times that healed Naaman of Leprosy? Was it Jesus's spit or the mud that brought sight to the blind man? Is it the consecrated oil or the Priesthood blessing that brings healing? No. Those were the means...the conduit. The actual healing itself came from Jesus Christ, but those were the means. That is all. Take Him out of it and they become simple objects or circumstances unable to do anything unusual. Quite frankly those were some seemingly unusual means, just like it may appear in our own lives. Add Him to the means and they become the conduit for unimaginable miracles. Similarly, in my efforts to share His love and light, it isn't that as I go Visiting Teaching or serve that brings healing. Whatever details of actions or words or means I may be prompted to employ, they are merely a conduit to bring His healing and His love and His light.
The Compassionate Christ by Kendra Burton
God has taught me on a deeper level that Jesus Christ truly is THE ONLY WAY I will be made whole, restored, and brought back into God's presence. He may work through means to do so, but He is the only way. The means He works in my life to invite me to Him or the details of the idols I must turn from will be different than my husband's or my children's or anybody else's. The Spirit can be our guide and will continue to tweak and fine tune as we listen and obey. There are infinite paths and combinations of paths, but ultimately it is through Christ and our willingness to turn to His voice that those paths and means He works through will lead to God...despite what our eyes can see or our logic can explain.