When you get home before sunset on a 55 degree December day in Buffalo it means only one thing:
Grab your running shoes and get out the door AS SOON AS POSSIBLE! (At least for someone who enjoys running but hates treadmills as much as I do.)
While good for my body, breathing in the fresh air as my feet hit the pavement is even better for my soul. As the body speeds up, my mind slows, and one by one the worries of life seem to fade.
About a mile into my journey, my lungs begin to remind me why 50-55 degrees is about my threshold for cold when it comes to running and why I’m stuck making treks to the local gym all winter long. But on this unseasonally beautiful day, that’s not going to stop me.
I inhale and keep putting one foot in front of the other.
The fact that I can feel each breath is a beautiful thing as I realize again what a miracle it really is.
I think of my amazing friend Adrian who feels and labors at every single breath every single day and am reminded to lift up a prayer for him.
A few steps later it hits me… how could I forget… The stories of concern the doctors had as my premature self entered this world… ‘Her lungs may not be able to hold air‘ they said. ‘She may not live long if she can’t breath.’ ‘Prepare for the worst.’
My run continues and now I’m literally laughing out loud… Running and singing… Two of my favorite things… Evidently my “weak” lungs managed to catch up just fine.
And as headed back toward home, these thoughts caused me to remember: every single breath I take is a reason to praise. It doesn’t matter whether a day is amazing or downright awful… It doesn’t matter if what I need to do in a day is crystal clear or completely confusing… It doesn’t matter what is happening around me, as long as there is breath in me, I have reason to praise.
Jesus, we know we’re pretty bad at this, but would you help us praise you with every single breath? When we want to complain or be jealous, would you remind us of all we already have? When we are sad or scared or alone, would You reveal your presence? When we feel like we’re just wandering through life, would you bring us to a place of wonder? May we breathe in your grace with each inhale, and exhale only praise! Thanks Jesus! Amen!