Let's Get Psyched! Here Comes a Breath of Fresh Air
by Randy Kiel | June 7, 2019
A person that is known as a breath of fresh air is one who is original, optimistic, and new, rather than pessimistic and negative. We have the opportunity to live as this title declares every day. To me, a breath of fresh air sounds like the reflection of Christ. What gets in our way to live like this?
Let’s consider the angle of the small things in life, such as: Why should I have to do what I don’t want to do? “Dad, why should I have to do this homework when I’ll never need it?” Come on now, this question did not just come from my kids; it has belonged to kids of all generations. As children, little did we realize that geometry would exist in our every day world or that we would age into actually appreciating history and the desire to learn more of it’s significance in life.
I remember studying New Testament Greek in college and wondering if this would ever have any value to my future life. Well, hardly a day goes by that I do not teach someone a word in Greek. I do this teaching, not only to understand a word’s origin and intent, but also to enhance communication. Further knowledge of the original language of our Scriptures helps us to grow further in our understanding of one another as well as Jesus and His Word. The Greek word pneuma means Spirit/breath/wind. When God sounded as a great wind rushing upon the Apostles, he was expressing himself as Spirit. When God breathes upon mankind, he is also expressing himself as Spirit. He in- Spirits us. What a great way to understand the verb to inspire or the noun inspiration.
Throughout this spring, I have thought deeply about the word breath. It seems that with each day, life comes out of its slumber and ceases hibernation. “Awake, awake, o sinner, arise from the dead and let the “Son” shine upon you.” Our land takes a breath. Many of my farming friends refer to this as “the earth waking up”. Something new is about to begin; it is a breath of fresh air.
When we think about the beginning of the Church, we commonly think of Acts 2 and the coming of the Holy Spirit as tongues of fire descending upon the Apostles’ heads. We can also see the Church in her beginning through another version of the Pentecost story in John 20. Jesus comes to his disciples to send them out to be his first ministers representing his authority, but first he breathes upon them, commanding them to receive the Holy Spirit. They are now breathing with holy breath.
This next thought takes me personally to an exciting place. At Mass, we experience the divine “Breath of fresh air.” Every time the priest or deacon opens up the Word of God, Jesus’ gentle and intimate breath comes to us. We then breathe him in as we inhale and breathe him back out as we exhale, proclaiming his Word. The congregation subsequently breathes him in as the Word is delivered. At final blessing and proclamation, we are all commissioned to breathe him back out to the world as we glorify him with our lives. Isn’t that bigger than cool? It is with this breath, that we go about the chores of our daily lives, some of which we consider routine and others spectacular. Perhaps the most spectacular act of any day is through the loving breath of forgiveness. How much closer to Christ could we possibly be than when we forgive somebody? Our risen Christ has given us his own Spirit of love and forgiveness. His Spirit is closer to us than our own breath. To breathe words of forgiveness on someone, now that’s a breath of fresh air!