A Humble Heart of Praise

What does the Lord require of you?  Is it different today than it was yesterday?

Or, the real question for me right now:  is it different during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Logistically, yes.  My clergy colleagues, church administrative staff all across the UMC connection … we are all trying to suss out:

  • what do our churches and local communities need?
  • how we do respond to this need?

There has not been one day, (hardly an hour tbh), when we haven’t been discussing the ubiquitous LIVESTREAM worship options or ZOOM or phone trees.  There hasn’t been one day when we haven’t had ideas about food and caring provisions.  There are number of needs, a ka-zillion options already and my head is spinning, I think.  So many options!

And as much as I appreciate all the options?  It’s a joy to see folks helping each other, offering ideas and plans!  I also just have to admit: I get overwhelmed by it all, too.  Because right now? my people-pleasing – my need to serve in my various roles and life – those instincts are on OVERDRIVE.  When that OVERDRIVE kicks in, it can be stymy me-us altogether.  It can stagnate the best of our abilities that would otherwise be helpful, nurturing, and just what is needed – this hour, this day.

So right now, I am turning to the prophet Micah’s ancient wisdom to answer the question, “what does the Lord require of you?”  which is:

“To do justice, and love kindness and walk humbly with your God.” 

For me this morning, that looked like:

  • Sitting down at the table eating breakfast with my kiddos.  Lighting a candle.
  • Reading a chapter in the book of Matthew.  Lighting another candle.  Getting to my yoga mat and practicing.
  • Helping kiddos with schoolwork, including detestable things like working through word problems.
  • Walking the dog and getting us all outside to get needed exercise and for me?  I just need to SEE and FEEL the outside world.

In the hours ahead, I will continue to work through how I can best serve the church and community and my family.  I will continue to sort through options.  But, for today, I am going to cut and paste these verses somewhere so I can return to them.

“To do justice, and love kindness and walk humbly with your God.” 

And I’m going to praise God with this yoga pose that helps me to get out of my head.

IMG_2162

Urdjva Hastana (Upward Salute): a pose that teaches extension from the ground up, lengthens the side waist, strengthens arms and shoulders.

1. Stand with feet about hip distance apart.  Ground down throughout your feet.  Inhale and exhale deeply into your entire legs from the waist down, energizing your lower limbs.

2. Tilt your pelvis down toward the heels, and move the tops of the buttocks down.

3. Inhale and extend your arms out to the sides, parallel to the floor, lifting them overhead.  Exhale and gently release tension in your shoulders, drawing your shoulder blades back and down, toward your spine.  Open your chest.

4. Continue in this upward arm positions for about 8 breaths, remembering:

  • Root down through your feet.
  • Keep your gaze at the horizon, neck/chin soft, throat open.
  • Inhale: lengthen the sides of your waist and reach up through the crown of your head.
  • Exhale: Gently send strength to your extended arms and be gentle to your shoulders.

5.  On your final exhale, release your arms slowly to the sides.

 

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