Waiting to Exhale

Waiting to Exhale

Lent 2


Life is hectic.  Life can be chaotic.  Life is messy.  We all know this.  However, and yes, there is a however… Life can also be beautiful.  We build our life step by step and we build those steps from the hectic, chaotic, messy moments we live.  The thing about life is… It is always about the next best thing.


The way to build those steps to our next great moment is to exhale.  The average person breathes once every five to eight seconds.  Records have been set and tragically, not set due to death, by those attempting to pass over twenty minutes of holding their breath.  Experts say that the average person, relaxed in a pool, can comfortably hold their breath for two minutes.  In a stressful situation, though, thirty seconds is the average length of time to hold one’s breath.


Life seems to go at top speed some days but if we take a second and wait before exhaling our reaction, we might just find a few seconds of calm.  Holding one’s breath is more a mental exercise than a physical one.  When we exercise we use more oxygen than when we are at rest.  Waiting to exhale and subsequently inhale allows us time to regroup and de-stress.


When learning to hold one’s breath, there are a number of variables that come into play.  When responding to life’s moments, the same is true.  Never assume but always verify.  What you think you heard might not be what is really being said.  Often we feel we react and instead of act.  By taking a few moments, we can avoid creating more stress and might even find some much needed and greatly desired few seconds of calm to appreciate and value our living.


The beatitudes are the basis for our discussion during this series.  They are a group of writings that begin with “Blessed are they that…”  They exemplify to me the process of waiting to exhale and evaluating all the aspects of the moment.   Life is messy and sometimes painful.  By giving ourselves a few moments or minutes, we can see that there is grace even in the pain and turmoil.  So take a deep breath, count to five and wait before exhaling your next response.  You might, in those few seconds of waiting, just discover the next best thing that will bless your living.


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