Through a dozen years as a yoga student and teacher, I’ve learned there are many different ways to express the same thought.
Some expressions make sense to me and some don’t.
One yoga teacher may say, “Engage or make dynamic all the muscles from your waist downward.” Think on that for a moment. Most of us wouldn’t know where to begin.
I say, “Sit tall in your chair and push your feet strongly into the floor, like you're trying to scoot your chair back.”
Both directives are meant to accomplish the same thing, which is to activate muscles from the waist through the hips, thighs, knees, calves, ankles and into the feet. However, the second one hits home with me because I’ve used my feet and legs to scoot a chair back thousands of time during my life.
I get it. It was expressed in language I could understand.
In my spiritual walk, and coming from a background where the King James was considered the only acceptable version of the Bible, I have struggled.
Early on, when the King James and the New International versions were the only ones I owned, I became quite agitated over one particular verse.
Funny, but I can still see the sunshine streaming through the upstairs bedroom window that Sunday afternoon. It was always so quiet there. I sat on the carpet by the bed. Chuckie the kitty lay on the bed, looking over my shoulder and purring relentlessly, as I wondered aloud what the words meant.
When I arrived at work on Monday, I was anxious to talk about it with my Christian colleague.
“How do I know I am ‘in Christ’?” I wailed.
Luckily, we were both early to the office, so no one else heard as the words spilled out of me in rapid succession.
“What does that mean, ‘in Christ’?
"I don’t get it.
"Am I ‘in Christ’?
"Am I not ‘in Christ’?”
I threw up my hands.
The verse, Second Corinthians 5:17 in the King James, reads, “Therefore if any man be inChrist, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
The NIV said pretty much the same thing.
I was totally perplexed.
This man, whose friendship and faith were instrumental in bringing me into a mature relationship with Christ, patiently reassured me as he explained the concept of being “in Christ”in a way that made perfect sense.
Bottom line, yes, I was then and am now "in Christ."
Was I ever relieved!
Since that day, I’ve owned several different translations of the Bible. Most I have given away, but I still have that well-worn copy of that first NIV Quest Study Bible, complete with notes and coffee stains.
Now Biblegateway.com is my go-to source to the more than 60 different translations. Many of them stick with “in Christ.” Other versions substitute “joined to Him by faith in Him as Savior,” “belonging to Christ,” “believes in Christ,” “is united with the Messiah,” and “is enfolded into Christ.”
That last one, “enfolded into Christ,” is breathtaking, isn’t it?
You can just close your eyes and imagine what that feels like with Christ wrapped around you from head to toe….safe, secure, protected…..like an impenetrable spiritual cocoon.
People, like translations, have different expressions for being “in Christ.”
“I am a Christian.”
“I am a man of faith.
“I am saved.”
“I have accepted Jesus as my personal savior.”
“I am a believer.”
Since we are all as different as snowflakes, is it any wonder that we express our relationship with Christ differently?
The one thing we do have in common is this:
"... while we were still sinners, ... Christ died for us."
End of story.
Go in peace.
Lord, You created us as one-of-a-kind masterpieces. Help us to listen with our hearts rather than our ears, knowing that love is the universal language. Amen.