Jesus said to them, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent Me, so also I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” (John 20:21,22)
“Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” (Genesis 2:7)
“Good writing is like breathing deeply.” Moreno Zugaro
My brain kept urging my lungs, but they seemed to have forgotten how. 4am. Out of bed, walking in panic circles, heart racing, arms flapping, with nothing more than a wheeze of air able to be sucked through my mouth. What is happening to me? Is this what it feels like to die? After what seemed like a lifetime, at last a gasp and then one more. Breathing began to return to normal. But life didn’t. Every night, over the next three months, the pattern repeated itself. A specialist explained these episodes were panic attacks, most likely brought on by stress. My lungs stopped breathing to awaken me to the distress in my soul and save my life. That was 39 years ago.
Breathing is synonymous with life. That's one reason why the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, is likened to breath. At Easter, images of God the Son and God the Father are prominent but not the Holy Spirit. But no mistake, the Holy Spirit was breathing life into the narrative of Easter.
The Book of Genesis makes clear that God’s breath animates us. It sustains us. It inspires us and guides us. This is because the breath of God is indistinguishable from God’s own presence. In the act of breathing life into creation, God breathes in God’s very self. God’s breath, therefore, is equivalent to God the Holy Spirit.
Both the Hebrew word ruach, and the Greek word pneuma
contain this association. These words can equally be translated as “breath” or
“spirit”. Physical life begins with breath. Eternal life begins with the Holy Spirit.
“All Scripture is God-breathed…” (1 Timothy 3:16) We’re told that “prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:21) The reference is to the breath of God as wind in their sails. Their writing and their living were carried by the Spirit.
You can’t choose to be inspired, but you can choose to take a breath in. And then a breath out. And then another breath in. Our lungs are the only major organ in the body that we can directly control with our minds. I’ve not yet seen any evidence that your thoughts impact your liver or kidneys, but you can decide, at any moment, to take over your breathing.
author and Senior Vice-president for
Innovation at Scholastic Education, says “Reading is like breathing in and
writing is like breathing out.” Think of reading the Bible
as breathing in the presence of God. Think of writing as expressing the Word of God through your creativity.
You can’t go more than a few minutes without breathing. Going a day without the Word of God is inspiration deprivation. Reading devotionals, biographies, books on leadership, marriage, parenting, and relationships is a way for the Holy Spirit to breathe life into your writing soul.
Now, if you always breathe the same air, it gets stale — just like information does. Look for new sources of inspiration from time to time, like an unknown podcast, a controversial writer, or a thought-provoking newsletter.
is breathing. Sometimes it’s a background activity
that we ‘just’ do, regularly, keeping things moving along. Sometimes
something we practice and do intentionally, whether or not we are in the
mood. Peter de Vries' perspective on inspiration is spot on, “I only write when I’m inspired, so I see to it that I’m
inspired every morning at nine o’clock.”
You should strive to write the best you can. But sometimes you just need to breathe, to look up from your keyboard, or notepad, stretch the kinks out of your back, and say,
Wow, I’m writing.
The Holy Spirit makes all the difference between a blank sheet and a finished masterpiece.
I write to grow hope, inspire people to be real, forge an authentic faith in Jesus, and discover their life purpose.
Please follow my writing at REVwords.com
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