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Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Keep Breathing


It is sometimes underestimated how much effort is required to execute that seemingly simple exercise of breathing in and out and then repeating the cycle again. The difficulty isn't the physical aspect of the exercise (although some asthma sufferers would like to argue this point), but the motivational side of it. There comes a time in your life when you long for that simple reflex action to stop and afford yourself the oblivion that death brings.
I believe most, if not all of us, have felt this way at one stage or another. Too many of us come from families or friendship circles where someone has even gone so far as to take that fatal step to end their own life. Others are living with people who live such self-destructive lives that they keep wondering when they will be getting that awful tiding that the person has finally pushed too far and too hard against that barrier that stands between life and death.
I have a natural inclination towards positivism. I am fortunate in this, because there are a huge amount of people whose own physical bodies make it difficult for them to remain positive, due to various factors which are outside the scope of this non-medical contemplation. But without any chemical or other physical causes for it, and despite my natural tendency towards positivism, even I have difficulty remaining positive when life decides to dump its trash on me.
You know what I'm talking about. Life has dumped on all of us at one stage or another. It tends to personalize the content for the intended victim, but we have all suffered the consequences of this.
What motivates you to keep breathing at those times? Is it the thought of the ones you will leave behind and the people who are dependent upon you? Sometimes not even they have enough pull to stay a desperate hand. Is it the fear of what awaits you 'on the other side' once you pass over? Fear is not a great motivator for those who seek to escape.
Just as the content of what gets dumped on us is personalized for each of us, so the thing which stays us is also personal. I found my motivation with God.
I am not a religious person. I used to be. I would go to church twice on a Sunday and in between on weekdays for various reasons; choir practice, prayer meetings, arrangements that needed to be made for functions, bible studies, etc. They were good times and I regret precious few of them. Yet, none of these things, even at the height of my enthusiasm for them, would have had the power to stay my desperate hand. Religion can not save anyone.
What stopped me from taking that fatal final step, was a personal relationship with God. Even as I'm typing this, I cringe at the thought of typing these over-used words and catch phrases. But there is no other way of saying this. I know God, as in I have met Him. We speak. Often. Honestly and frankly. No mincing of words in these conversations. The conversations are seldom one-sided. If you speak to someone often, you get to know them. If you speak to God often, you learn about love.
Love is such an abused word. I gets thrown around to describe a multitude of emotions. Worse, it gets used to cover a dump-load of wrongs done to others. It is used as an excuse. It is abused as a motivator. But true love, is none of these things. Love never considers itself. It does not brag. It is not egotistical. It does not look out for Number One. It does not spew forth its own rights. It does not neglect its responsibilities. I am starting to sound like Paul in his first letter to the church at Corinth (chapter 13).
It makes sense that I would sound like Paul. Paul and I fell in love with the same God. We both knew/know what it is like to be loved by Him. Our testimonies should correlate. I wish that everyone could all learn what it is to be loved like this. Unconditionally. No terms to be determined or dictated. Simple, truthful, honest love.
On that day when I went to the One who I value more than any other, it was merely to inform Him that I would be with Him soon to stay. I had no doubt that Someone who loved me this much would welcome me home at my most vulnerable time. He did not reject me. He did not scold me. He did not accuse me. He did not convince me of my sins and wrong-doings. He did not list a thousand reasons why I should not do this. He did not throw the law in my face. He simply listened. And then He asked one question:
"Does this mean you are taking your life back?"
You see, I had given Him control of my life. I had assured Him of this, over and over again, throughout the course of my life. This was no longer my life to take. It was His. And I was not about to take God's life. Or one that belonged to Him. I would never rip something that belonged to God out of His hands, and presume to be able to be a better steward of it. I left my life in His hands. It was no longer mine, had not been in years. I could neither take it, nor take it back.
And then I relaxed.
If this was God's life, it was His responsibility. He would take care of things, He would deal with people and situations that needed to be dealt with. All I needed to do was to relax in the knowledge that He had more of a vested interest in 'my' life than I did, because it belonged to Him.
The key here is relationship. We've had had this relationship for years, God and I. He has always been true. I had no reason to doubt or mistrust Him. I still don't. Let go, and let God take control of your life as well. You will never regret this decision.

Marietjie Uys (Miekie) is a published author. You can buy the books here:
You can purchase Designs By Miekie 1 here.
Jy kan Kom Ons Teken en Verf Tuinstories hier koop.
Jy kan Kom Ons Kleur Tuinstories In hier koop.
Jy kan Tuinstories hier koop.
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