Spiritual Practices Are Not About Performing for God

About twenty years ago, I had the opportunity to attend a free yoga class called “Yoga for All.” It was designed for beginners. No experience necessary. It was ¼ mile from our house. I didn’t need to pay for it. I didn’t even need to own a yoga mat. All I needed to do was show up. I had wanted to try yoga for a while, but I was unwilling to go.

I was afraid that I wouldn’t do it right. I was afraid other people would think badly of me. I was afraid I wouldn’t like it and I would be stuck there for an hour. I was afraid I would feel obligated to go back. But mostly, back to that first point, I was afraid I wouldn’t do it right.

Peter finally got me to try it. I loved it and I kept going back. Week after week after week. I eventually signed up for a local class in addition to this free one just so I could learn more. I started doing yoga on my own sometimes. 

I never became an expert. I just liked it. I started to use breathing to help calm myself down. I paid more attention to places in my body that were asking for attention. I learned how to stretch and rest and receive care. (And let’s be clear—while tree pose is now comfortable for me, sharing a photo with the world of me practicing tree pose is a big stretch!)

Life with God is a lot like the practice of yoga. Whether we are talking about prayer, or Bible reading, or simplicity, or fasting, or any number of other things—spiritual practices are not about performing for God. They are not about achieving spiritual mastery. They are not about impressing anyone. They are not a matter of how much time you spend or how familiar you are with the topic. They are simply about receiving Jesus’ invitation to come and be with him.

Amy Julia practices the tree pose outside near a tree

More with Amy Julia:

S7 E2 | Anxiety: A Doorway to Your Best Self? with Curtis Chang
S4 E4 | Spiritual Practices That Heal with Rich Villodas
3 Practices to Follow Jesus and Cultivate Love
7 Healing Practices

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