Saying Good-bye to Shallow Living
- 2016 Apr 28
“Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” -Genesis 2:7
Sometimes I forget to take a breath. It hits me all of [a] sudden that I haven’t taken a deep breath for hours, that my shoulders are tucked up beneath my ears, as if they are supporting them, and I’m breathing but in short, rapid, shallow, hurried breaths. Slow down, I say to myself. Breathe. -Kris Camealy
The delivery nurse told me to pant. I was in excruciating pain but I didn’t want to damage my body by pushing prematurely. I didn’t know if I was in danger or if the doctor was just delayed in her arrival.
So I tried to obey, kind of. I found out later that the nurses’s command to pant was because the doctor was not there yet to catch my son. If I had known this I would not have panted, I would have pushed.
Pushing is my preference.
I push down doors of opportunity. I push myself and others to do more and be more. I push to get my way. But I’m often left feeling shoved around and out of breath when life doesn’t go as expected.
Take a deep cleansing breath. That’s what my choral director from college said when we warmed up to sing.
Inhale, up. Exhale, down. That’s what Shaun T. says on our crazy workout videos.
Breathe in for 3 and out for 10. That’s what our birthing class instructor said as we prepared for childbirth.
But I breathe shallow most of the time. I let the cares of life and the pace of ambition dictate my respiratory patterns. I need to slow down, inhale deep, and let God be on the throne of Heaven and my heart.
I scurry and hurry and drop and plop and need to come up for air.
The breath of God is in my nostrils, yet I often take it for granted.
As a tightly-wound woman who lives quite frantically, most of the time, I battle fear, insecurities, people-pleasing, and control and I want to be made well.
I don’t want my shallow breathing to lead to shallow living, so I pause and ponder what it is that God is speaking to this try-hard heart.
When faced with the unexpected twists and turn of life, we often pant or push. But what if we learned to breathe deeply and rest in the care of our Creator, regardless of our circumstances?
What if we trusted instead of throwing tantrums?
What if we found grace in the unraveling of life?
What if we allowed our tightly-wound tendencies to wrap us around the One who holds us, and all things, together?
Let's say "good-bye" to shallow living once and for all.
*This post was originally published on purposefulfaith.com