“Nicole, that’s special,” my yoga workshop instructor said sporting a wry smile, then stepped over me and my purple yoga mat. I wondered if special was good or bad. Turns out it was neither. My tight neck muscles were pulling my head to the left, as if in some sort of permanent tick. My chin tucked too tightly toward my chest, probably from the countless hours I spend hunched over a computer. My lower back was excessively curved causing my legs to lay askew. (No, this has nothing to do with my insistence on wearing high heels.) A couple pairs of caring hands adjusted and offered a few strategically placed blankets to straighten out the weird ticks and curves. I breathed a sigh of relief.
In life and in yoga, we just don’t know if our thigh is in the right place or our shoulder blades really on our back until someone else takes a look and, sometimes, offers a gentle adjustment. This is why we need community — to hold us accountable, to help us see what we can’t see in ourselves.
I think this is a perfect buy allegra online metaphor for Lent — a time of prayer, fasting and repentance. Repentance can be thought of as “turning around,” or a “change of mind.” Christian turn inward in Lent, become aware of whether they are aligned with the Divine. It’s a spiritual adjustment necessary before we move forward more faithfully in the resurrected future. This realignment cannot be done alone. The community helps make us aware of our misalignment and helps us make adjustments with caring hands.
The Iowa Conference UCC is hoping to help with your Lenten adjustment. Every Wednesday, beginning on Ash Wednesday (Feb. 13) we will post seven prayers, songs, scripture passages, etc. at different points during the day in what we are calling a “Virtual Retreat.” We hope that these prayerful moments throughout the day will help you focus on the Divine as you prepare for your Lenten programs. We hope that the reminder of the season’s meaning will provide you with the adjustment you need for your heart and spirit.
Nicole Havelka, Associate Conference Minister