Friday, February 24, 2006

Kinesthetic Spirituality

Kinesthetic spirituality is the understanding that our actions and our bodies play a role in our discipleship, that what we do actually matters to God and that He is concerned with the material world. Kinesthetics is the study of movement, and I would like to suggest that the reason that pilgrimmages and experiential prayer exercises are meaningful to many people is because so many of us are wired for movement [‘…in him we live and move and have our being…’]. Social scientists and educators even tell us that there are people who have a keenly developed sense of athletic/kinesethetic intelligence; and that fully 40%+ of Americans are kinesthetic learners. If this is true, then we should not be amazed at the power of exploring our bodies offered in service and praise to our God.

Kinesethic spirituality is the sense of intimacy and transcendence we experience when we fully immerse ourselves in worship, or when we open our senses to the prompting of God while out of doors. It is the expression of confronting mortality and our awareness of the Creator’s infinite capacity to love our fragile and broken flesh. Kinesethic spirituality is what advances the distance of intellect towards the closeness of humanity. It is the reality of our skin metted out against the reality of our identity.

Kinesthetic spirituality is about what you do. It is about what you are involved in. It is how we follow God in tough places, those that are hard to reach and force us to exert ourselves to reach the prize. Kinesthetic spirituality is sport and diet, exercise and experience; it is the drama of human encounter.

For our church, a commitment to kinesethic spirituality is a commitment to honor tactile interaction, and avoid services that cater only to aural and oral learners. This makes church more about what we are personally involved in than what others happen to be doing on a stage.

For many years, theologians have best understood the truth of the Trinity as a perichoresis – a circle dance – in which Father, Son, and Spirit join hands and spin and play as they love and create. Salvation is participation in the dance.

Salvation is kinesthetic – but it doesn’t stop at salvation; for the dance continues through time as more and more people join in.

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