How’s your breathing? I’ve attempted to heed to my own words over the last few days. I’ve actually stopped to take a deep breath and intentionally thought about taking the Spirit of God into my lungs. Then I realized it hurt a little. My lungs don’t get much of a workout these days. In fact, I probably go days, sometimes weeks without really filling my lungs with air.
I thought of the yoga classes I was taking regularly until I threw my back out, and how the entire practice of yoga is centered around breathing. So much so that sometimes at the end of classes I would feel almost light-headed because of the oxygen I took in.
Yoga has taught me so much about breathing out the bad, and taking in the good. And so it would make sense that the same would be true of breathing in the Spirit. We must empty ourselves of…well, OURSELVES, before we can truly breathe in the breath of Good. We try to sustain our lives on a breath of anything and everything but Jesus.
Sometimes, we believe that performing well–even perfectly–will give us the breath we need to sustain life. Or what about that better job, or more money? Or proving ourselves to our co-workers, or our parents, or our friends? For some of us its relationships, “If only I had a husband, or fantastic family, then I would be able to really live.” For others of us it’s whatever that thing is that makes us feel good right now in this moment–pills, a few glasses of wine every night, a pitcher of beer, a glance at porn on the computer. Then there is shopping (where I admittedly try to find a sense of life). And there is our children–wanting so much for them that we lose a sense of life of our own.
Yours could be anything, mine could be too. Anything that fills our life with a false sense of life, it isn’t hard to find, especially in our society. We can pick up a magazine and be sold any idea-any lie- that there is life “out there” somewhere that we deserve, that we can have. But really all of those things are poisonous toxins that interfere with the only true pure source of oxygen our life needs–and that is Jesus.
Jesus came to give us life, and give it in abundance. As he breathes his Spirit on us, he gives us life. But if our lungs–our hearts–are too consumed with everything else, there will be no room left for Jesus. I think of how significant it was that Jesus was born in a barn–there was no room for him. Is there room for him in your life?
What are your toxins? What is the poisonous air you are breathing that takes the place of the oxygen that you need? What is in the way of you breathing in Jesus?