I woke up this morning with atrocious breath. I personally call it “mung mouth”. You know…when your mouth has been wide open for nearly 7 hours – unless you’re menopausal which means you’ve only slept for like 4 hours – and drool has been sliding down the side of your cheek which is like an invitation for all sorts of creatures and germs to “come on in”…make yourself at home in my mouth.
I think about breath and I am grateful each day I wake up and have been given its generous gift – even if it starts out mungish. Think about it. Another day of breath. God breathes his breath into me daily – kind of like a loan to me – borrowed from Him. And I’m dependent upon him for it. We tend to take it for granted – oh, I’ll wake up tomorrow as usual,…but tomorrow isn’t promised. It’s that same breath that he breathes into me that he breathed into Adam’s soul and gave him life.
I listened to a sermon recently where I heard that human beings are the only one that God breathed life into. Not dogs, not elephants, not zebras, not cats, not crocodiles and certainly not ostriches. I still don’t get why God created ostriches – that’s one of the first conversations I’m gonna have with God when I get to Glory. And we humans are the only ones that have a choice in how we respond to God’s gift of breath. It’s called free will. And we sometimes do a sucky job at responding to the gift.
We’ve sort of messed things up in terms of caring for this world but one day the earth is going to be restored to its original state. I believe that every living organism is anxiously waiting for it’s designer to return and restore them to the way they were meant to be. Rocks, trees, flowers, dirt. They praise him on a daily basis. They don’t have a choice – it’s in their DNA and nature to return their breath back and honor the one who gave it to them. It’s what they were created to do. All for praise. All to point back to their creator.
So if God’s breath gave Adam his soul and his breath gives me my soul, then it makes sense to me that it’s my responsibility to return that breath back to him to give him honor. It’s in this exchange that I think I’ve discovered true life and how to become fully human. It’s that place where my soul finds its ultimate purpose. Just like the rocks and the trees it makes sense that that’s where the most sophisticated of His creations belong – pointing others back to him. It’s why we were created – to praise him.
What does praise look like? I think it’s when your insides (your soul) are blessing the Lord. By being grateful. By being thankful for the breath that is within you – all that makes you YOU – be grateful and thankful and honor your creator. That’s when I’m most at home and most healthy.
For me, I think praise is giving your gifts back to him. Some folks put praise in a box and it has to look a certain way to be acceptable to them. I think you praise Him with all your abilities. Your painting. Your poetry. Your air guitar. Your lawn mowing. You certainly praise Him with your voice in song. Me…not so much. I’m more of a “joyful noise” kinda gal., but I praise him when I’m singing in the car. Or the shower. I praise Him when I laugh. I praise him when I cook. When I blog. I praise Him with my mouth when I speak to groups. I like to say “when God gives you a big mouth you use it for Him“. Praise is the way you “do life”.
When am I fully myself and fully human? When I’m praising Him. That’s when I feel the most at home. When I am using the borrowed breath of God to praise him. So what are you going to do with your borrowed breath? Try it. Go ahead – bless the Lord. Bless the Lord with your job. Bless the Lord with your vocabulary. Bless the Lord with your time. Bless the Lord by spending time with your kids. Bless the Lord with your finances. Bless the Lord by talking kinder. Bless the Lord by saying “no” to some of those things that dirty your heart and mind. Bless the Lord by saying “yes” to those things that will point others to their creator. Bless the Lord with the grace you offer others. This is why he made mankind. I can tell I have so much work to do to be a better Lord blesser.
When was the last time your soul went home? When your soul blessed the One who created it – who breathed life into it?
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul!
Did those words leap into your heart? If so…then you’re healthy. You’re home. Isn’t that just so like grace – being given the highest office we can hold in God’s economy when we’re the least deserving? That’s your assignment – go have fun with being a Lord blesser?