Morning Meditations on the Importance of Oxygen
Or could we say that breathing is “overrated” and its worth “exaggerated”?
If you’re shaking your head in an emphatic, NO! then good. You get it.
Each cold and dark morning, hot coffee in hand, I make my way to this spot. Not fully roused from my sleep, I sip the boldly, warm liquid and let it work its magic from the inside out. It is so quiet, for the moment all I can hear is the beating of my own heart. But, as the light begins to illuminate the darkness, a bird joins the sunrise resulting in that mysterious and perfect harmony they seem to share. If I sit long enough, everything at rest, my mind begins to clear like the a morning fog tends to do. I sit, and I wait for the miracle. And just as predictable as that glorious and rising sun, I feel Him speak. The very Giver of life and Supplier of meaning begins to call - to me. His Spirit within me at work. These moments carry such weight that I sense eternity in them. When I begin my day, listening and receiving, I begin my day acknowledging where my very life comes from. And, it comes from my God and his Word.
You see, there is no substitute for time spent alone and at rest with the Lord, just as there is no substitute for oxygen or any other means to respiration than breathing. We were, quite literally, made to do both. Denying the importance of breathing and of oxygen, will not lessen it. Saying you’ve no time or do not “operate” that way will not change the suffocating effects of a lack of it. And, trying to fill your lungs with something else, like water, will only result in drowning - not in further enlightenment. There is no substitute for oxygen for living just as, for a Christian, there is no substitute for time spent with the Lord and in His Word. Not making time for this will only result in a slow, painful burn-out that, in my experience, will feel much like suffocating. And trying to fill the, literal need for communion with God, with something other than Him and His Word, will net the same result that trying to fill your lungs with water does when they were made for oxygen. Because, a Christian walk, without time with the Lord or in the Bible, is exactly like a life without breathing and without air: Dead.
I know that many may hear condemnation in these words of mine. But I would caution against confusing condemnation with conviction. Conviction is the work of the Holy Spirit showing us where we’ve been wrong and moving us toward repentance and change. Condemnation is, by definition, the action of condemning someone to a punishment or the handing-down of a sentence. We know that, as Christians, Jesus’ death and resurrection assures us that we have escaped such punishment and have been pardoned of our sentence. Yes, we stand convicted – just not condemned.In light of this reality (and it is a reality, not an opinion or preference) let’s commit to not trying to live without oxygen. Let’s stop trying to breathe water like it’s air and living Spiritually dead lives. Because, think of what would happen to our greed, our racism, our anger, our fear, our judgement and condemnation of each other – if we started breathing-in God and his Word. Imagine how we would exhale grace, “peace, patience, kindness, gentleness…” Imagine if we stopped viewing this time spent reading our Bibles and with our God as something we don’t have time for and instead started recognizing it for the very oxygen that it is. Oh, what an alive and life-giving Church could we be then!