God’s call to mindfulness is as old as Eden. When the Lord asked Adam and Eve “Where are you? . . . Who told you that you were naked? . . . What have you done?”, He wasn’t looking for information. He was calling them to deeper reflection on what is really True and Good.
Sadly, mindfulness has been greatly distorted and popularized by Eastern mysticism: emptying our mind to be “at one with the universe”. The biblical process is in filling our mind with the Word of Christ and knowing our temple of Christ (the basis of our body’s emotional experience and expression in the moment). The biblical purpose is for intentional godly relationships in the Body of Christ.
If you’ve been following this series, “Workout Wednesdays”, you may recognize those three phrases in the three questions of previous W.A.I.T. Training exercise videos: “What is the Word of Christ saying to us about love in a particular passage?” Then, “What is our temple of Christ saying to us about love here and now, under physical, relational, and spiritual stresses?” And, lastly, “What is this Body of Christ (the believers with whom you are exercising) saying to us about love?”
The first question can be easy for many Christians to answer. We do this in Bible studies all the time. The third question can be answered by simply observing changes in proximity to each other, individual body language, vocal tone, etc. But the second question is crucial, since it connects the other two. It’s also probably the hardest.
Below is the first of several videos to help you with that second question, which is all about mindfulness in Christ. God willing, in the following weeks I will provide additional specific videos on mindfulness: exercising emotions of ‘bad, mad, sad, and glad’, an example of mindfulness from Romans 7, biblical theologies of fear, anger, grief, and joy, and more.
If you haven’t seen the introductory video, “How to use Physical Exercise for Small Group Bible study and Fellowship: 1 Goal, 2 Tools, and 3 Questions in 4 Venues“, you may want to start there. Even if you’ve already seen that video and its references to safety, I’ve provided some additional notes on safety below. If you find these videos helpful, you might also check out, “12 Tips to Set-up for W.A.I.T. Training”.
On the subject of safety, again, always exercise with others around who can help you or who can at least call for help if necessary. So ensure that at least one of you has a cellphone with good reception and a charged battery. The exercises described in the video are simple and easily modified to fit any ability level, but accidents can happen.
Regarding spiritual safety, we must also guard against temptations within us and around us. For example, if we wrongly focus too much on physical fitness, we could start from a foundation of inner fear of “I’m too fat” (or skinny) or pride that “I’m great, but I’m here to become awesome!” And if we’re not intentional, that could also invite envy or lust. Even mature believers like Job recognized the reality of visual temptations (Job 31:1). So if your group has males and females exercising in the same place, I recommend that no one wears cologne or perfume, and all wear loose-fitting clothes that cover the arms, neckline, waist, and legs of both genders. But the clothing should also breathe. Heavy and non-porous clothing holds heat and, therefore, will raise heartrates. If our physical intensity is too much we won’t be able to have meaningful conversations. Talk among your group to agree on what’s most honorable and helpful in the Body of Christ.
As you might imagine, you could use “W.A.I.T. Training” in many ways: an aquatic exercise group, a series of spin classes using the dozens of Christian music videos on “Music Mondays“, a yoga-like group that fills our minds with Scripture by mediating on the 24 images of spiritual fitness (instead of emptying our minds), a traditional class discussion using the free book, “W.A.I.T. Training”, and more.
The program is designed for broad use through through a variety of supports: training videos, devotional thoughts, Christian music videos, 8×10 color posters, free t-shirt designs, and more can be used for your personal devotions or small group Bible studies. The downloadable PDF below suggests Scriptures on all 24 principles of W.A.I.T. Training by Truths, Commands, and Promises (TPCs in the PDF below).
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