Consecutive evenings of extended sauna sessions reminded me of an enduring truth. Saunas are. They are nothing more that what they are; they are nothing less. We may enjoy them for a time, however even when we are not there, they will go on being what they are. Rich, poor, powerful, and powerless, it does not matter to a sauna. It offers to share what its essence with anyone willing to spend time. We may think the sauna serves our needs. I would gently observe that all eventually find themselves overwhelmed.
The analogy of our relationship with God stretches thin at I near the end of my abilities to stay in the heat. I have finished two liters of electrolyte infused water, likely sweating at least half that amount. My body heat is making everything feel a bit lighter. It is time for the cold contrast of air and water.
I know there are those that think s/he has mastered the sauna. Candidly, I know I have not. I understand there are a few believers of the idea that saunas only exist for their benefit. While I do come away with benefits, it is hard to look at the simplicity of what a sauna is from a self-centered perspective. Saunas are something universal, openly accepting, and carefree. They are.
I realize that I have taken the metaphor of a sauna far more seriously than I realized. I often expose myself to it knowing that I will be overwhelmed. I use it to achieve an end. It works but there is more. A writer left us with a dual warning, about saunas and God. “We must never try to get Christ to serve us instead of us serving him; they tried it, and God launched an epidemic of poisonous snakes.” (1 Corinthians 10.9)
As the lament of a blues guitar fades in the background, I emerge from the sauna refreshed and ready for life. It seems to have drained the toxins from my heart, leaving me with a sense of hope. Everything is possible. Anything can happen.