The Lord God took a handful of soil and made a man. God breathed life into the man, and the man started breathing. Genesis 2: 7 (CEV)
This morning, I took three deep breaths. In the first breath, I thanked God for the gift of breath. In the second breath, I thanked God for the gift of life. In the third breath, I thanked God for the gift of the present. Finally, I asked God to help me remain in the present through the course of the day.
Three deep breaths. Did you know that it only takes three deep breaths for us to calm ourselves?
Three deep breaths can be the difference between me yelling at my children or rationally working through the issue at hand.
Three deep breaths can be the difference between me spouting off something hurtful to someone I love or carefully considering the entire situation and choosing words that build up instead of tear down.
Three deep breaths can be the difference between me spending too much money on another dress I don’t need or saving up for something much more meaningful.
Breathing can change your life.
My sister had a conversation with a woman who reminded her that breathing is a gift from God. Not only is breathing a gift from God, it is God. God’s breath brought Adam to life. God’s breath coursed through the valley of bones and turned them once more into living, breathing human beings. Jesus breathed the Spirit of God into the disciples and gave them new life in him.
God’s breath is life.
Stop where you are for a moment. Close your eyes. Breathe. Fill your lungs as full as you can. Hold onto that breath for three heartbeats. Feel the oxygen fueling your blood. Then slowly release it.
Now, breathe again. But this time, consider that you are breathing in God. Think of this breath as his Spirit. Fill your lungs with the Spirit of God. Hold onto it for three heartbeats. Feel God’s Spirit coursing through your veins.
Finally, take one more deep breath. This time, let gratitude pour into your being. Fill your lungs with thankfulness. Hold onto that thankfulness for three heartbeats. Let your whole being be infused with thanksgiving.
Wednesday marks the beginning of the season of Lent. This is a time when we prepare ourselves to take the journey with Jesus to the cross. Lent is a time of reflection and repentance.
This year, I would challenge you to make Lent a time to breathe. Practice breathing deeply. Fill yourself with God’s Spirit. Recognize him breathing into your life. Then, share that life giving, life altering, life sustaining breath with others.
Blessings and Peace,