“Let everything that breathes sing praises to the Lord! Praise the Lord!”
Breathing is an entirely lovely thing.
You do it every day. Multiple times per minute, actually – and I bet you never thought twice about it.
I did this week.
Let me explain.
I’m fresh off a nasty sinus cold.
You know the type – the ugly phlegmy kind, where you fill multiple Kleenex boxes full of disturbing mucous.
Let me tell you, I am freshly appreciating the ability to breathe through my nose tonight.
And with my newfound appreciation for clearing sinuses, I’ve been thinking about taking a deep breath.
In more than a physical sense.
Life has a way of keeping our breath shallow. We are too busy, too preoccupied, too performance driven, too anxious to stop and take a deep breath.
And I am noticing that shallow physical breathing equal shallow emotional and spiritual breathing, too.
I don’t think we were designed for shallow breathing – or a shallow existence.
I know our Creator designed us with lungs and minds for a reason.
We are to be taking a deep breath and being, not doing.
Slowing down. Smelling the roses. Inhaling His peace and goodness, exhaling anxiety and fear. Receiving the blessing of oxygen and being open to what is, and letting go of what was or might be.
Our lightning paced world leaves us gasping for air.
Trust takes breathing to the next level.
Feel your lungs fill. Embrace the gift of oxygen, of this moment in time. Feel yourself connect to the space around you in a profoundly simple and organic way.
Slow. Exhale tension. Let your tight neck muscles unwind.
This moment is a gift. Breathe in the wonder if it. Breathe out your need to judge it. Settle your heart into the truth that you are profoundly loved and held – even in your mess and chaos.
Yes, even here – this moment, this minute, this place is a good time to draw in goodness and exhale praises. This is Holy Week. Take the time to investigate and cherish and wonder at a love big enough to go to the cross to secure your heart.
Because just breathing – the rise and fall of your chest, the filling and refilling of lungs is holy. And the offering of praise you make in faith is an act of restoration and beauty and love.
Take a deep breath with me?
Father, breathing is so integral to living. And yet we take it for granted and choose to perform the function in shallow ways which disregard Your gifts. Teach us to slow down, to be purposeful and thankful and breathe You in, and exhale the gift of intentional worship. Amen.