One of my favorite ever band names is NEEDTOBREATHE. Lately, I've been on a kick of listening to their music. I start off nearly each morning on the way to the gym pumping "Shine On," "Signature of Divine," and "The Outsiders" through my car speakers. But it's the concept of their name that intrigues me today. It is the basis for a question I've been asking myself for a long time...How much air do I need to breathe?
Like kids inflating our baby-face cheeks and trying to hold our breath for 30 seconds, we spend much of our lives thinking we are running out of air. We are convinced we need a certain number of friends to survive. A set amount of money. A particular level of education. Opportunity. Peace. Silence. Fun. Food. Clothes. Cars. Respect. Admiration. Achievement.
When those levels start to run low, we panic. That's usually when people come to me. They feel as if they are gasping for air and want to know what to do.
Truthfully, we need a lot less of those things than we think.
Over the last couple of weeks I have run into some friends who looked fresh, fit, and full of life. It was not too long ago, though, when those same people were surviving the aftermath of losing jobs, loved ones, marriages, and purpose. The common denominator with them is this: They discovered they needed less air than they originally thought...to breathe. They learned to survive on less air. And not just survive. Thrive!
Life is hard. Good grief is it hard! And we get tired. Weary. Pushed to the brink. Sometimes, we're just hanging by a thread. Then hope shows up.
Hope looks into our eyes and says, "You have more in the tank than you realize. I'm not going to give you more air right now. I'm going to show you how strong you really are. I'm going to show you how to breathe. Hope will be your oxygen."
And we will never run out of hope.
Deep breath. Trust God. Repeat.