Start With a Deep Breath

t’s eight o’clock on a Friday night. You’d think I’d be out with my wife on an exciting date. Not with five kids at home. It cost more for babysitting than it does for us to go out to eat together! Nope. It’s eight o’clock and I’m sitting here writing a bulletin article. My wife is in bed. She’s been there for over an hour already, asleep, exhausted. We’ve had a full, fun, and fantastic day. But now we’re exhausted.

We all get there. We go, and go, and go, and go, until there’s no “go” anymore. We are busy with business. We are brain-wasted with school work. We deal with stresses at work, difficult people in our lives, and then come home and the kids want even more of our time, attention, effort, and often times money. Then we must work harder to earn more to share more so we can work harder to earn more, to share...–you get the idea.

No wonder we’re all exhausted. We are running through life! Sometimes we’re getting somewhere. Sometimes we’re like mice in a wheel. But all the time, we are moving too quickly and too furious to be able to catch our breath.

So do it with me, right now —BREATHE. Deeply. Slowly. Again. Take five deep, stress cleansing breaths and then keep reading.

Inhale... exhale. Inhale... exhale. Inhale... exhale. Again. One more time.

Do you feel better? Probably not, because you probably were too cool to actually stop and breathe. And that’s the problem. We refuse to actually stop and do the things that are best for us. We often know what is best. We know that we should make time for God every morning. We could stop everything and pray. We could spend 15 minutes in His word. We could get on our knees and focus on Him. We could meditate on His character and love. We could call a brother or sister and encourage them, or be encouraged by them. We could memorize a passage that means something to us. We could prepare for Bible class. We could help a stranger, or neighbor, or family member.

But all of those things require stepping out of the rat race, something too many of us don’t know how to do. That’s my encouragement to you today.

Instead of focusing on your “to-do list” before going to bed, focus on God’s list of blessings.

Instead of taking a quick shower, make extra time to pray in the shower where you’re most comfortable and where life is most quiet.

Instead of fitting in so many meetings, make a meeting with God each day where you can read about Him and His great deeds.

Instead of speeding to work listening to talk radio, drive slowly listening the audio Bible on your phone (download the app).

Instead of getting up at the last possible minute, get up and do something refreshing. Sleep might refresh your body, but I’m talking about refreshing your soul. And start right now with a deep breath.