Don’t hold your breath unless you’re under water, because while you’re waiting for the next thing, life is drowning you and all you end up doing is choking for air.
It’s the quiet that defines a man, not moments of fleeting wonder and raucous triumph, for the real glory lives in the little things we overlook and forget, the mundane and true. It’s in the Sunday sigh of a woman in love while the rain comes down outside and the moan of the wind and the lazy smiles and wrinkled sheets. Walks in the woods when the world is still and the air is sharp and right and the leaves are turning with bittersweet autumn, death and renewal and the promise of spring, possessed of a magnificence all its own.
The glory in life is found in the simple things. Changing diapers at two in the morning, dancing around the living room with your baby to sooth him back to sleep, walks to the bus stop at dawn, tying shoes and bed-time songs. The laughter over silly things and inside jokes, late-night trips to the hospital.There is glory there, There was. We often miss it along the way, for our eyes are on the wrong things, and then we ache for it when we remember to remember.
We’re constantly bombarded by images of success, and what it means to be happy. It’s the bigger house, the newer car, the promotion, the vacation, the next thing. We live in a world of instant gratification which seems largely bereft of true happiness and contentment. Our technology is miraculous and gives us the ability to talk to friends around the world with a few clicks, yet we are lonely, for the cell phones and ipads, video games and social media which provide this so called “connectivity” lead to a disconnect with our souls. It’s a hollow feeling.
It’s hard for Christians, who are exhorted to be “in” this world but not “of” it, for the lessons Jesus taught go completely against what the world continues to tell us. Christians are supposed to surrender to be victorious, lose in order to win, give to receive joy. It’s hard to keep our eyes fixed upon Jesus when the world comes crashing in, howling and loud, tempting and insidious.
The lasting, true glory is there, though, in a relationship with the Creator, and in those mundane moments, if we listen, he is whispering to us. I admit I’ve been holding my breath my whole life. It’s time to breathe.