[do you notice the mountains?]
I remember the first time I visited Armenia.
We lived on the outskirts of one of the towns, Gyumri, and there was a sort of a small unofficial garbage dump near us with a hill right in the middle of it. Because of an earthquake back in 1988, there are no tall buildings in the area, the tallest being around 4 stories high, so when we got on top of that hill right in the middle of a dump, we could get a 360-degree view around most of the city.
There were glorious mountains all around in the distance.
Sometimes you could see them clearly as if on a picture, sometimes through a mist, but they were there.
For a girl who lived all her life in Kyiv, Ukraine, where there are a few hills in the city and you can’t even really see them because of all the buildings, this mountain view with snow caps was breathtaking.
“Those mountains are so beautiful!”
Those from Gyumri, Armenia, just shrugged. “Yeah, guess they are nice.”
I remember thinking “Even if I lived my entire life here, I would’ve never stopped marveling at those glorious mountains.”
Fast-forward to present days.
My friend, a pastor, has mentioned an idea yesterday that I have heard before but it hasn’t “clicked.”
It was the idea of God’s name, traditionally spelled as YHWH, not being an actual word in a conventional sense, but rather the sound of inhaling and exhaling.
We sing about it, “You are the air I breathe…” but I haven’t considered God’s name being the very breath.
Yet, when God was creating human beings, He (They) didn’t just speak us into being along with the rest of creation, instead, He (They) formed us out of clay and breathed life into us.
I was thinking about that this morning on my way to work.
Inhaling and exhaling.
How often do you consciously think about breathing?
I know I do when I am stressed and have trouble inhaling, gasping for air instead. I do it when I subconsciously match my breathing to that of Sam’s and then realize that our breathing patterns are way too different, and I don’t get enough air. Probably those who have asthma know that feeling as well.
The desire and struggle to simply breathe.
However, once the struggle is gone, we’re back to taking our lungs and air for granted.
Do we do the same with God?
When we have no problems, we just breathe without thinking that actually, we’re not entitled to that breath. When we have no problems, we just kind of believe God’s there and that’s a good thought, but it’s passive on our part.
I often pray for God to be with me… and then I realize – He’s actually there already.
As close to me as my own breath.
And like the Armenians who got used to the beautiful mountains around them, I got used to God being with me all the time.
Do you see the mountains? Do you notice your breathing?
Stop for a minute and just enjoy taking a deep breath.
And remember… God’s there.