Friday, October 9, 2015

Are you breathing at full capacity?

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10  "You are better having a friend than to be all alone, because then you will get more enjoyment out of what you earn.  If you fall, your friend can help you up.  But if you fall without having a friend nearby, you are really in trouble."

I was on the phone with a friend today and mentioned that I was having a harder time breathing, especially when I have been working out at the gym.  My other friend had just recently told me that she noticed I was taking very deep breaths even before we started our 3 mile walk.  

So I mentioned that my son Carter let me try 2 puffs of his inhaler, and what a difference that made.  

I could breathe. 

Without effort.  

It was as if I had become so accustomed to not breathing well, that it was my normal.  How do you even know it's abnormal if that's what you have been used to for so long? As I look back, it's kinda comical because my kids would think I was frustrated with them (because it sounded like a heavy sigh).  When in reality, guess I just wanted a little oxygen...call me crazy!

I wonder how often we go through certain seasons of difficulty, not even realizing the toll it has taken on us.  The strain it has caused.  It can feel like drowning in sorrow, and trying to come up for air.  And then we gasp for air, (which probably sounds like my so called 'heavy sigh').  It has just become our normal.  And so we walk around not breathing at full capacity, because it doesn't even register we need a little relief.  Maybe a spiritual inhaler of sorts. Something to open up our airways so that it doesn't take so much effort just to function.

God allows certain storms for a season, and I read recently that 'not all storms are in the forecast'.  But there is no shame for you to accept a little relief, just like an asthma patient shouldn't feel bad about accepting relief from their inhaler.  I think our Maker sometimes has us in certain situations where we need to depend on each other, not just go it alone and be independent.  And although our tendency is to isolate when we are struggling, the most unhealthy thing you can do is to isolate from your 'inhaler'. 

Maybe it's even a lifestyle that we have embraced, not recognizing that it is squeezing the life out of us.  We aren't eating healthy enough, not sleeping enough, running ourselves ragged with our over packed schedules.  Then we run to a doctor only to find out the answer is within our control.  There's no pill that can reverse all of our poor habits and lack of discipline.  (darn it!!)  There are no short cuts.  But we have become so accustomed to functioning with this lack of sleep and nutrition, dragging ourselves around exhausted...that we don't even know that this is abnormal.  It's become our normal.

Sometimes it's helpful when someone recognizes it.  Whether it be my friend noticing my labored breathing before our walk, or your friend who reminds you of the difficult season you have endured.  It's helpful to recognize that we can find relief, whether it be through the Pro Air inhaler or the friendship that allows you to breathe easier...friendship can be oxygen to your soul.  Either way, don't skip your recommended dose.  Your physical and spiritual health is counting on it.