The Principle Behind Taking a Deep Breath

My good friend Sara Willis knows exactly how to handle me when I come to her in a lightning blur of gchats or Skype messages about my life—things I am worried about, overly excited about, or confused about. Her first reaction is always to tell me to first stop whatever I am doing and take a deep breath. She will even refuse to go on with the conversation until I have promised that the deep breath has been taken. It is the principle behind these deep breaths that help me through my Waiting Place.

During our regular morning devotional and meditation at my home yesterday, we read a verse that says: “Therefore I will look unto the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me” (Micah 7:7). We talked about the three steps in the verse being 1) communication with God, 2) waiting on God’s response, and 3) belief in God’s capabilities. Each part is important, but it is the second part that is so hard for most people. And it is true for almost any situation we face in life, regardless of personal beliefs. We often identify our problem and know that it can be solved, but find it hard to be in the middle—the wait. We want things NOW. But we also have to learn how to identify a necessary wait from an unnecessary wait.

A necessary wait is one I would identify as requiring us to change something in our own life or around us before what we want to occur can take place. Perhaps the timing is wrong for how things are in our present situation. The unnecessary waits are the ones that are like quicksand, slowly taking us down while we try our best to remain patience. It is important to wait, but there are times when we are waiting and waiting for something to come along and hurtle us towards our goals. That is nice in thought, but in reality, sometimes the only person wearing the superhero cape is standing right in front of us when we look in the mirror.

In either situation, however, filling the wait with our own content moments is important. And that’s the principle behind taking deep breaths. I believe that when Sara insists that I take those breaths, it is so that she can remind me that if I take this moment to just inhale life, I am still exhaling life. I should still enjoy what is immediately at hand, while I am wading in the middle of the journey. I attempt to put this into practice each day as I learn to patiently wait on things to come together for my program to begin.

So, I will wait. And I will be ready when things start happening because I am that kind of girl, as Dr. Seuss so kindly reminded me this week.

From Oh! The Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss

You can get so confused that you’ll start in to race down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space, headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.

The Waiting Place…for people just waiting.

Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to go or the mail to come, or the rain to go or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or No or waiting for their hair to grow. Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for wind to fly a kite or waiting around for Friday night or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake or a pot to boil, or a Better Break or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants or a wig with curls, or Another Chance. Everyone is just waiting.

No! That’s not for you!

Somehow you’ll escape all that waiting and staying. You’ll find the bright places where Boom Bands are playing. With banner flip-flapping, once more you’ll ride high! Ready for anything under the sky. Ready because you’re that kind of a guy!

The Waiting Place
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