Breathe

by Katie Gienapp

Last Thursday I went to this group called Wildlife.  There, the leader used a phrase about what I have been trying to do for a long time.  The phrase was: Breathe.

Here’s what he said: “Okay, try this: breathe in fifteen short times, with no exhaling.”  We did.  Then he continued, “Now, breathe out fifteen times, with no inhaling.”  Again, we did what he said.  (You try it!)  “Notice how hard breathing out is, compared to breathing in?”

He then explained that “breathing in” is having a relationship with God; about getting more of God. Breathing in – both literally and figuratively – is pretty easy, isn’t it?  He said “breathing out” means sharing God with others.  Now, the breathing out is very hard, as you just discovered for yourself a minute ago.

Breathing is an essential part of life, isn’t it?  If you breathe, you’re definitely living life to it’s fullest.

I can’t tell you how many times at night, when I am trying to fall asleep, I feel like I’ve stopped breathing; like my body doesn’t know how to breathe anymore.  Then, when I consciously notice I’m not doing any breathing at all, I have to start myself breathing again. After a while, I don’t have to be self conscious about my breathing – my subconscious takes it from there.

That’s kind of like breathing in and breathing out isn’t it?  Sometimes, when things get tough, like when we get into fights with our siblings or other relatives, or when we do something we know we shouldn’t, we stop “breathing.” We’re so focused on ourselves that we stop taking in God, or coming to Him with our worries and letting Him take the steering wheel.  We insist on steering our boats, our lives, our problems, all by ourselves.  And then that shuts God out, and our choice doesn’t let us breathe in.  So, if we can’t breathe in, how can we breathe out?  How can we share God’s light, Jesus’ story, when we need a glimpse of both ourselves?  How can we do what God put us here to do if we’re insisting on controlling our own lives?

But when we do let God be in control, breathing becomes easier, doesn’t it? When we make ourselves start breathing, it becomes automatic.  We take in God’s peace and glory and show the rest of the world.  Then we are a proud light for God and at the end of the race, God will look at us with pride, not shame, and say loudly for all to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

But breathing needs to have its balance too.  You can’t breathe in a tiny bit and exhale fifteen times.  And you can’t breathe in fifteen times and exhale once.  It’s the way God made us. Breathing in and out must have equal breath involved.

So that’s the challenge I leave you with. Try to breathe in God and share Him with others equally.  It’s tough, but who knows?  Someone might need you to share some light into his or her life.

Read Matthew 25:21

My name is Katie.
I am 12-years-old and going into the seventh grade. I am a military kid and have lived in seven different places, including Iceland.  I love reading, writing, running, hiking, camping, and playing with my family.  I currently live in Colorado.

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