Over this last week, this prayer formed in my mind. Our theme for this next week of Lent is THANKFULNESS and JOY and I find that nothing gives me more joy, or makes more thankfulness well up within me, than the breath that draws life into my body. It is not just a reminder of the sustaining presence of God, but the very essence of our Creator who breathed our world into being.
I love to sit quietly breathing in and out, imagining the essence of God filling my heart and my soul. I am very aware that it is only God’s breath that sustains my life, at the same time filling me with all I need to accomplish what God calls me to do. Not surprisingly this contemplation often inspires me to write new breath prayers.
The joy of my own freedom to breathe becomes even more special as I contemplate those for whom breath does come easily. One friend in New Zealand is struggling to breathe as her breast cancer metastasizes to her lungs. Another friend in South Africa is intubated in ICU because of an infection that has spread throughout his body. And around the world I am very aware of those who struggle to breathe because of pollution, disease and allergies.
To find deep joy in breathing I must be relaxed. When I am busy or anxious, I take my breathing for granted and fail to appreciate the wonder of my God present in every breath. Giving up busyness can provide time for appreciation of God’s beautiful world and of the breath that created it.
What Is Your Response?
Sit quietly for a few moments taking note of your own breathing. As you breathe in imagine God’s essence filling you. Now breathe out and see that essence flowing out into God’s broken world. What makes you aware of God as you breathe? What separates you from a sense of God’s presence?
Take some time to watch the video below of a breathing exercise I often conduct at seminars. Or check out this post and read through the breathing prayers incorporated in it. What response is God asking of you?