I've been thinking a lot about breathing and the function of our lungs. The process is started by the contraction of the diaphragm, just below the lungs, causing air to flow into and fill the lungs. The air that is drawn in is sifted through, separating what is needed (oxygen) and what is not needed (carbon dioxide, nitrogen, helium, etc.), and then the part of the lungs called the alveoli grabs a hold of that oxygen and hands it off to the bloodstream, where the much needed source of life is pushed from fingertips to toe tips. After the sifting has occurred, the diaphragm relaxes and the remaining gases are forced back out of our lungs, rejoining the air around us. This process is repeated approximately 22000 to 24000 times per day, almost always unnoticed. We breathe in, we breathe out. Inhale, exhale. And then again,
The way that people who don't know Christ perceive Him, through people who claim to know Him, is similar. The things we say and do make up the "air" around them and at some point they inhale, usually unnoticed, these words and actions and their brain and heart goes to work sifting through what has been said and done, deciding if there is any life within them.
This thought is heavy.
I know many people both close to me and acquaintances, even someone unmet who happened to walk by the amphitheater where I am singing or someone at the table next to me in a restaurant, who do not know or choose to believe in this Savior, Creator, God at whose feet I have placed my life. This God who's Spirit fills me with any life worth having. This God who has promised to, someday, make all things right. This God whose very existence explains the unexplainable, fills in the voids, gives purpose, and displays the only example of perfect love this world has ever seen.
Romans 1:19-20 says,
"For that which is known about God is evident to them and made plain in their inner consciousness, because God [Himself] has shown it to them. For ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature and attributes, that is, His eternal power and divinity, have been made intelligible and clearly discernible in and through the things that have been made (His handiworks). So [men] are without excuse [altogether without any defense or justification]...."
With just these two verses I feel the weight of responsibility. I am part of His handiwork. I am one of the things He has made, therefore, He should be seen through me.
Have I relinquished my grip on the things that would distort or poison His life that is housed within me? Have I continued to cling to things that would drive His Spirit away like two repelling magnets making clear Galatians 5:17
"For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another...."
Have I been surrounding myself with unbreathable, lifeless air that is being inhaled and coughed back out by those around me?
I can know if I find myself living in a way that Galatians 5:19-21 describes:
"repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community."
I want to make sure that this is not the air that envelopes me, but instead I desire to express life through my actions and words and songs and deeds and Galatians 5:22-23 describes what this looks like:
"affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity...a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely."
I want people to see real Love.
I want people to inhale life.
These are the thoughts that swirled within my head and heart until finally latching themselves to a melody, forming a song. A song that I could sing to remind myself that everything I say or do could be being inhaled by someone who does not know Christ and set their brains and heart to work, sifting, sifting, looking for anything worth holding on to, anything that would bring them life.
I am posting the lyrics to my new song "Calling, Calling" below and if you would like to listen you can find it by clicking the title below:
When the road is long And the mountain steep Let my mouth find words Any word that I could speak To find myself calling after you
If my words had a meaning If my life pulled away Then I would find the mountains move move move If I spoke with assurance If my heart joined my head Then I could tell you how to breathe breathe breathe Cause
Light is brighter Air more fragrant Hope is here in my hand Life will be without end
Changer, chameleon I will be red and then I’m green Let my heart find strength Any strength so I will keep And find myself waiting on you