The Long and Winding Road

Have you ever thought of teaching Bikram?  After-all, you are never bored with it, you have practiced it for a long time, you love to share with others how it can transform a body into good health from the inside out?  And there are studios throughout the world, so you could travel – add that passion of yours to the work – meet interesting people?

The list of reasons why I should think about ‘teaching Bikram’ continues and all are solid, good points.  And each time this is offered up, especially by those closest to me, I hear this at the end, “You are so passionate about the Bikram practice!  Follow your bliss!”

Hmm.  Really?  I think there is a dangerous, misguided myth buried in the advice to follow your bliss; to think that if you do something professionally that you are passionate about that purpose, provision, happiness and success will naturally follow.

And my thoughts on this are way too complicated to communicate here this morning.  I just don’t share the world view that the pursuit of happiness is the point.

But that hasn’t stopped the Spirit from speaking to me with the questions my beloved family members have put before me as they try to help me move forward and up and out of what they might think of as ‘the slough of despond‘ – a deep bog.

They have me thinking about an authentic life Christ-centered life and what it takes to live it fully right here and now.  They have me thinking about all the things that excite and enthuse – that animate me, that grow and bring me life.  Entheos – in God – things I am passionate about. From where they sit, well, Bikram yoga looks to be in a primary position  But, I know better.

Of all that animates and excites, it is the Word and the prospect of ministry that has most enthused in recent years.

This whisper alongside the readings from Acts and the Gospel has me thinking about Jesus as the model and teacher for those called to continue the work that God gave him to do.  Jesus said, follow me, do as I do, heal as I heal, say as I say.  Many have been called to make their passion for Jesus, their work.

I know that I have not pursued becoming a Bikram teacher because I have no interest in the grueling, expensive, time consuming certification process.  Though I have entertained the idea of owning and operating a studio I know that I am more interested and naturally inclined towards the business of running a successful studio than in the teaching that would take place there.  But to own and operate a Bikram franchise one must be a certified teacher first.  And frankly, in that I have no interest at all.

Not so with the pursuit of my passion for God’s Word and for His church.  I am eager to serve, to ‘have a church’ and to do all that the church asks me to do to become ‘certified’ to serve.

But that pursuit has been stalled more than once and I’m thinking about that today and wondering why.

And at the same time and at the end of this twisted reflection,  I am realizing I am not in the slough of despond, but yet at the crossroads, an intersection really, that the Lord lead me to a few years back.

I haven’t moved out of that intersection for a good long while, not knowing really which way to turn.  Indeed, the promptings from my family this last week to step onto the bliss path – the passion – the Bikram path – resulted because to them I have been at this intersection and crossroads for far too long.

But, it is where God has me.

Its a journey we are all on, no?  And its a good thing, I think, to pause every now and then to get our bearings and to locate ourselves.  Where are you today?  In the bog?  At the intersection?  On a new path?  And who and what lead you, kept you, moved you, there?

This is what I hear the Spirit saying to me today.  And though I sense no whisper or encouragement to move out of this space yet, I do feel movement coming my way.  And I know it is not to Bikram.

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