The title for this blog, INHALE/EXHALE, was chosen by our communications team as a summary of my philosophy about spiritual transformation. It was disturbing to me initially that my deep thoughts on spiritual life could be so easily summarized in two words. While INHALE/EXHALE doesn’t say all that needs to be said about transformation, it does communicate a simple rhythm of life that leads to growth.
In addition to a weekly worship experience with other followers of Jesus, we each need to find one regular opportunity to “inhale” and one to “exhale”.
- INHALE: Find a group where you can learn, grow, and receive. Sunday morning worship alone is insufficient for the spiritual marathon. Find a place where you can breathe in the love, grace, community, power, and word of God.
- EXHALE: Find one place to give, serve, and share. Find a place where you can exhale the love, grace, community, power, and word of God into the church and world. God has called you to ministry (serving inside the church) and mission (serving beyond the church walls).
It is not healthy to inhale only (though I have known many “inhale-only” Christians). It is not healthy to exhale only (though I have known many “exhale-only” Christians). Healthy runners realize the necessity of a honoring the inhale/exhale rhythm that was built in them by their creator.
My strong pastoral recommendation: Make Sunday morning worship your priority (that’s the heartbeat). Find one place to inhale (grow). Find one place to exhale (serve). Consider all other church programs optional.
Have extra time? Take an elective class to supplement your learning. Even better, spend time getting to know your neighbors or volunteering in the community. Still have more time? Write to me (or post on the blog) your INHALE/EXHALE story. I’d love to hear about your experience.