Our verse today in Holy Yoga was from 1 Thessalonians 5 in the Message: “Gently encourage the stragglers, and reach out for the exhausted, pulling them to their feet. Be patient with each person, attentive to individual needs.”
When I read the Bible, especially if I’m focusing on a short passage, I like to pick out the words that speak to me. In this one…I just love the word, “Stragglers”. I’m not sure I’ve ever used the word before but I totally get it. You know? I don’t know the official definition but I know I am one. Isn’t it crazy how that works?
I love this passage for so many reasons. It makes me want to cry out in gratitude for all the encouragers in my life…the people who saw me when I was exhausted and pulled me to my feet. I especially want to thank the ones who saw me when I was exhausted, told me it’s okay, let me lay down for awhile, brought me Diet Coke and chocolate and then…pulled me to my feet. Those people that were/are patient with me and attentive to me.
I remember reading a poem when I was younger about people being either “lifters” or “leaners”. I loved it and saved it in a scrapbook, my teenager self planning out my life as a “lifter” as if that was the only thing to be. Now that I’m older, I don’t think it’s an either/or thing. We must be both. We need to lift and lean. A lot of the people we will need to “lift” are people who have been “lifting” others so long, they are finally breaking under the weight of it all. As the Rolling Stones sing, “We all need someone to lean on”…Amen? Plus, the lifting is more fun when you know how it feels to lean. When you have been encouraged, it feels so good to share that encouragement with others.
So today…this is my prayer.
Lord, help me to see the people in my life who might need a little pick me up. Open my eyes to see the stragglers, the exhausted, the ones who need some encouragement. Lord, give me courage to gently, patiently, attentively, serve them. Maybe it’s just a smile they need. Maybe it’s a listening ear. Maybe they just need me to tell them that I’m a straggler too. Maybe they need to know we are all stragglers…Arm me with an open heart and maybe some diet coke and chocolate…and show me your people Lord…Help me be a lifter today.
Oh…and Lord, if it’s me…if I’m the straggler…If I’m exhausted and can’t find my way…if I need encouragement…speak to my heart, cover me in your Grace, drown me in your love…help me to treat myself gently, to have patience with my own needs and remind me that it’s okay to lean…that it’s necessary…that you did not design us to break under the weight of it all. Help me to lean when that’s the necessary thing and to have no shame but open my hands to receive the encouragement of all the lifters you are preparing to serve me when I need it. Amen.
In Holy Yoga, I call Child’s Pose Warrior 4. I heard another teacher call it that once and I thought it was brilliant! There is no such pose as Warrior 4 officially but there is a Warrior 1, 2 and 3. I believe Child’s pose, which is our resting pose, should be called Warrior 4 because here’s the thing…sometimes it takes the MOST STRENGTH OF ALL to admit we need to rest…to admit we need to lean. Realizing that we need to rest and then actually resting takes Warrior strength. But if we can get there, if we can surrender, we will be supported and encouraged and renewed. Praise God!
©2014 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™, All Rights Reserved
Join us for Holy Yoga on Tuesdays at 9 am and Sundays at 4 pm at the Presbyterian Church of Western Springs, 5250 Wolf. All lifters and leaners are encouraged to join us! 🙂 Hope to see you!