In his book, Following Jesus: Finding Our Way Home in an Age of Anxiety by Henri Nouwen, Nouwen says, “The great art of spiritual living is to pay attention to the breathing of the spirit right where you are and to trust that there will be breathing of new life.” Where is God breathing new life into yours?
Breathing…what an appropriate word for these times.
Breathing…as in inhaling & exhaling. Many people are struggling, literally, to do this these days. Over a half a million people have lost that struggle. I thank God every day that, so far, my family and I can breathe freely and effortlessly.
Breathing…as in taking a moment. As in stop doing…just be. I retired a few months ago. Retirement, on top of the pandemic, has really shifted the way I spend my day. I found that I’m better at “just being” than my husband, although I think I already knew that! I found that it’s okay not to have every minute of the day planned…at least for now. I see it as God allowing me the time and space to design my days ahead.
Breathing…as in “take a breath.” Ever say that to someone? Someone ever say that to you? Yes, on both accounts for me. When chatting with friends who sound overwhelmed, we remind ourselves to focus on what we can control; stay positive; that this, too, shall pass. I have found these times of political upheaval to be very distressing. I think God is testing me to see if I can take my own advice.
If I pay attention to the breathing of the spirit right where I am, God is showing up in my inhaling and exhaling, in my moments of just being, and in my times of distress. Thanks be to God. Where is God breathing new life into you?
COLLECT OF THE DAY
O Lord our God, you sustained you people in the wilderness with bread from heaven: Feed now your pilgrim flock with the food that endures to eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
LISTEN TO PODCAST "A LIFE WORTH OF OUR BREATH"
Click below to listen to On Being's Krista Tippett interview with writer Ocean Vuong.
Click on the link below to purchase today's suggested reads: Julian of Norwich: Wisdom in a Time of Pandemic - And Beyond by Matthew Fox and/or YogaMass: Embodying Christ Consciousness by Gena Davis.