Isaiah 42:5
Thus says God, the Lord,
who created the heavens and stretched them out,
who spread out the earth and what comes from it,
who gives breath to the people upon it
and spirit to those who walk in it:

The Gift of Breath

Do you think of breathing as a gift? It might not be what you asked for for Christmas, but if you’ve ever had bronchitis, or asthma, or more recently, CoVid – you know that breathing is the gift that needs to come first in order to enjoy any of the other gifts our lives might provide. We need breath.

Some years ago now, I read a poem about breathing, and I think that was the first time I really noticed my own breathing. It was eye-opening to pay attention and notice something that had always been with me, but I’d taken so completely for granted.

Take a moment right now, and listen to your breathing. In and out, in and out – slowly now, pay attention to what your breathing is like. Do you hear it? Do you feel it? Can you see the gift that breathing really is? If ever there was a gift to notice, this gift of breathing is one that can change us from the inside out, if we slow ourselves down, pay attention, and give thanks.

Prayer: Dear God, Thank you for the gift of life, and the gift I experience every time I pay attention to the gift of breathing you have placed in each of us. Amen

Reflection Questions:
1) What do you notice about your breathing? Were you breathing quickly or slowly when you started paying attention?
2) Some people pay attention to their breathing as a way to meditate. Others use it as a way to fall asleep. Hearing themselves breathe calms their minds. How do you respond to that idea?
3) Take some time to breathe in and out five times. Then give thanks for the gift of breathing.