The Apple Watch is a great tool! It keeps my pulse, tracks my runs, cycles, and swims, bumps me when I need a reminder for an upcoming event, alerts me of a new text message or even allows me to answer a phone call from my cell phone! Oh, and it also tells time!
It is a watch after all!
But one thing that it does do that I mostly ignore is the reminder to breathe. Who needs a breathing app? I mean, why do I need to be reminded to breathe? Hello? If I need reminded of that, there are bigger problems – call 911! Take me to the ER. Start CPR for crying out loud! I just don’t see the point of the app. So I mostly ignore these reminders. Quite honestly I don’t even remember setting them up. Anyway….
Today I sat down at the office today and began some typical weekly tasks that needed attention. As I looked around my office I saw reminders of the busyness of the last five days. Cords that need put away, things that need filed and organized, equipment that needs my attention, and two books that I haven’t finished yet. I almost don’t remember the last five days to be honest. In fact the only reminders are the very things I just listed off! Now not every week is like this. Busyness indeed comes in seasons. This just happens to be a season of it.
Anyway, after I pull my attention back to the task I started, my watch bumped me and gave me one of those reminders to breathe. Ok. I don’t really have time to just breathe. I mean I’m doing it now! Like right in this very moment! No need to stop what I’m doing just to have a one minute breathing session with my watch.
But it kept bumping me…Fine, I said! (No literally, I said that out loud!) I’ll breathe! Tapping the start button, the watch prompted me to be still and focus on my breath. Yes…I know…I caught it too. “Be still”. So for one solid minute I focused on my breathing. It seemed like it was longer than a minute…like it was three or four minutes.
However long it was, I ended up feeling just better. Not that I was feeling bad, mind you, but in that one minute of breathing, I chose to simply focus on God. And wonder of wonders I felt really good!
Like so good that I tapped breathe again on my watch…for the next twelve minutes!
And in that twelve minutes I was reminded (by God) that He just wants to be with me. How humbling is that to think about? I created space in my day to just breathe and in return God gave me breathing room.
David went through all sorts of seasons in his life. From being chased by a crazy King Saul to being chased by his own son Absalom, David understood the busy seasons of life. Much of these seasons were recorded by David in the book of Psalm. There’s a unit in the book of Psalm that spans chapter 61 through 64 with a common theme of simple trust in God. You can hear the cries of David in the midst of some rough seasons of his life. I encourage you to read through them.
Specifically, for today, though, I wanted to focus on two smaller passages. And even more specifically, in The Message translation. David writes,
Psalm 61 & 62
You’ve always given me breathing room, a place to get away from it all, A lifetime pass to your safe-house, an open invitation as your guest. You’ve always taken me seriously, God, made me welcome among those who know and love you.
God, the one and only— I’ll wait as long as he says. Everything I need comes from him, so why not? He’s solid rock under my feet, breathing room for my soul, An impregnable castle. Psalms 61:3–5; 62:1–2 The Message
Other translations (of which I normally prefer) use phrases like “tower of strength” or “refuge”. But in light of my experience in breathing today, I wanted to stretch a little. Look at the language David uses! “You’ve always given me breathing room, a place to get away from it all.” Those words describe what a refuge is. It is a place to get away, to feel safe, to feel protected, to catch your breath!
God is that refuge, that place to get away to have just room to breathe. From that breathing room, our perspective changes from the busyness of today to the limitlessness of God!
David continues as he describes this as an open invitation.
Everyone likes to be invited. And even when the event is open to everyone, we still like to know that we are invited and welcome to join in! David sees God inviting him into this safe place where God never pokes fun at what we may be facing. It’s quite the opposite! God takes what we are experiencing seriously!
The same sentiment is expressed in chapter 62! I love how David describes God as “the one and only!” I mean, is there any other God greater? He is the one and only! David reminds himself of God’s all sufficient provision and…there it is again…breathing room for David’s soul.
And it was that phrase right there that God used to wreck me this morning.
Our soul’s need breathing room. So much of what we think we need to do or expectations that we need to meet or the simple busyness of life can suffocates our souls. What they desperately need instead is to just breathe! They need time to have the Spirit of God just pour over them, nourish them, and remind them of just how deeply God loves us!
The passage for today ends with such a great idea. The breathing room for his soul is like an impregnable castle. That doesn’t mean that life will be smooth sailing from now on. In fact, in David’s life, that was far from the truth. But it does mean that when we allow our souls to breathe in deeply of God, we are made aware of just how safe we truly are, even in the midst of the busyness of life.
Just a note of context. David writes these words and refers to enemies. Truly he had people after him. They were his enemies. Now I don’t know about you, but I have never had someone out to get me and put me to death. A couple times I think Nicky thought about it ?! The enemies we face today are not a mad king or a vengeful son. They are the things that suffocate our souls and keep us from breathing deeply of God.
I don’t know what those are for you. But here is what I do know. Breathe! No, you don’t need to go out and buy an Apple Watch to do it. But you need create that room for your soul to breathe in deeply and when you do, you will experience something incredible!