My son just came in the door from trying to fly a new kite, but there wasn’t really enough wind to launch properly. Disappointed, kite now leaning against the wall. It’s all about the wind, after all. There’s something about wind, breath, moving air that evokes life and freedom and exhilaration–it pulls kites tight against our strings, blows new vitality into our faces, and threatens to lift us right off our feet. In Jesus’ language there was just one word for wind, breath, and spirit–ruha. Wherever you find any of those words in the Gospels, they mean all three at the same time. So when we breathe the wind, we are breathing God’s dynamic spirit that is always in motion–and through that invisible motion, we inherit its effect–as visible and stirring as the wind on a flag, a kite, or a beach towel.
Does your faith life make you feel like this?
I remember a fitness expert once saying that in aerobic exercises, you don’t have to worry about inhaling–that will take care of itself; the body does that on its own. All you have to think about is exhaling fully, and inhaling will happen all by itself. Most of us don’t exhale completely, allow the lungs to really empty out so we can take a deep new breath that will give us the oxygen and life we need to carry on. We are very concerned about breathing in God’s spirit, filling ourselves with knowledge and right action and attitude, but if we could stop worrying so much about the breathing in–if we just focus on breathing out fully, emptying ourselves of everything we’ve accumulated: unlearning, letting go, clearing space within–our very next breath will automatically occur…bringing God’s life and love into the deepest places that were simply never uncovered before.