“You are as close to us as breathing, yet You are farther than the farthermost star.”
—Gates of Prayer: The New Union Prayer Book
I am not a professionally trained medical expert, so anything I have to say about a human’s breathing function, is strictly based on self-analysis and awareness through focused experience.
Yep…I wear a CPap to bed at night and go to sleep looking very charming…and sounding like Darth Vader entering his galactic album REM cycle. My wife Christine has reconciled herself to the lesser of two slumber-time evils: Darth Vader breathing or hibernating grizzly bear snoring (which is also her description of me the first time in our relationship when she attempted to wake me to stop the horrendous volume). Apparently my subsequent growl was frightening. Sorry.
When you cease the all-important function of breath moving to and fro providing combustion and exhaust…your engine can fail….heart attack, stroke, etc. And so I bought a CPap and have slept like a quiet baby ever since. When I go to my state of repose, and mask up with a long hose extending from my head to a distant air managing unit; I purposefully consider each and every subsequent breath as it ebbs and flows from my nose covered with a sealed air mask. It relaxes me instantly. If I did not go to sleep instantly, I can imagine being so in sync with this most important and vital God-created mechanism for our life existence here in the mortality of earth’s atmospheric realm, that I would praise and worship Him marveling at the order and mechanism of His creation from the birth of our existence.
I have become increasingly aware of the intimacy of breathing.
This morning, I took my customary stroll in the mountains (always a huge smile on my face) and as always I break out in worship praying and singing my praise to God!
“All the way my Savior leads me; cheers each winding path I tread…”
He intimately meets me in His creation! Everywhere I look I see His glorious hand, mind and heart! I see His love for me and feel His breathe on my very skin! I breathe Him in and expell my fears, my weaknesses, my lusts, my unforgiving nature…my impatience and my darkness.
For my social agenda tree-huggers out there, please do not start rejoicing in my conversion to Pantheism or some over-wrought aura of environmentalism (though I love and treat with respect my environment). I am not a Pantheistic, whereby I believe everything around me in creation is God or that God is in everything. No. But God created Everything!
In fact, as I sat by my mountain stream within the forest yesterday, I marveled at the great and amazing faith of an evolutionist or an agnostic…one who believes this all just happened by accident…a cosmic expanse of a cell….whatever explanation “science” has provided to direct one’s thinking. Quite a lot less evidence to support that science-fueled faith!! Especially as I am sitting where I sit. Especially as I breathe…in and out. As my senses are assaulted with fresh pine and mountain water rushing over great boulders and little pebbles, I marvel at the great faith of an atheist. As the birds sing and I see a swaying wildflower blooming from a crack in a rock at the river’s edge.
I breathe in and out…and rejoice in that intimacy (in the moment) with my Creator, my God, my Savior and the Holy Spirit.
“All the way my Savior leads me, and He cheers each winding path I tread!” Hallelujah!