Breathing

Some of you probably remember mention of a commentary I am writing on the Song of Solomon a few months back. It was a writing I started, and had to postpone for some time due to other writing commitments that were more pressing. I have found writing on the Song of Solomon to be quite a challenge. Even though I’ve written commentaries on books of the Bible before, writing on the Song of Solomon demands a lot of my focus. I have to be in a place of “spiritual flow,” undistracted and undisturbed. This has made the commentary unique, and yet powerful, all at once. I know why the process has been what it is: it is because in order to write on the underlying theme of intimacy present within the book, I have to be there with God, myself. It connects me to the inspired writers of the past, and the process of writing from the heart of God. So much of my ministry is policy, procedure, protocol, and order, it is easy to forego that needed time in God’s presence to bring forth His revelation. It’s not that God is lost, it’s that the way I interact with God is so much a part of my life, it is on a practical level – and that means when God is a part of your everything, some of the things other people do, you don’t do as often. Even though I don’t spend seven hours a day with my internet unplugged or sit and chant the Word constantly, it doesn’t mean I don’t cherish the times I do have with God, unplugged, and devoted. As I write this commentary on the Song of Solomon, I find that unplugged time to be all the more powerful and vital.

I am finding, however, that God is not just teaching me about this concept in my unplugged, devotional time – but in many different ways. It is amazing to note how disconnected we are, in so many ways, from God and one another. The concept of intimacy is one we, as people, are confused about. As long as society and the church run around, making it about sex, we can continue to distance ourselves from it. As a result, most people have issues with intimacy that cannot be repaired without the work of God in our lives. If we would only hear this, our spiritual and natural lives could change for the better.

While seeking God about something this evening, God taught me a practical lesson pertaining to spiritual intimacy through my .mp3 player. The hit song for the summer of 2001(later to become the most played radio track of 2001) was “Hanging By A Moment” by Lifehouse. Lifehouse is one of those interesting bands that walks the fine line between Christian and secular music. “Hanging By A Moment” was a reflection of this, making it to number one on both the Christian and secular music charts. Even though people took the song a number of different ways, lead singer Jason Wade affirmed the song had a spiritual meaning. If one carefully listens to the lyrics, it is describing intimacy through trust, reducing life to a singular moment. For just a moment in time, the entire world was singing a song about divine connection, even if they didn’t understand what it was.

Later that year, on November 5, 2001, Lifehouse released another single, titled “Breathing.” It topped out at number nineteen on the music charts, and wasn’t a mega-hit in either the Christian or secular scene. I would venture most reading this probably don’t even remember the deeply introspective music video made to depict the purpose in the song…but I do. I remember it because the song was a perfect rendering of intimacy with God. As “Hanging By A Moment” depicted intimacy through trust, so “Breathing” depicted the spiritual power of intimacy with God, just being with God and waiting on Him through life’s confusions and difficulties. Even though it wasn’t as big of a hit, “Breathing” was, in many ways, just as important (if not more so) than their mega-hit song. It addresses a layer of spiritual intimacy so important, and so overlooked, the listener must take note – and personal inventory.

So much of the spiritual world today revolves around receiving from God. All we seem to hear about is what we are told God “wants” us to have. We are told God wants us to have the best of everything, and we’ve attached our concept of what’s “best” to that association. We think God wanting the best for us means having no problems, a perfect-looking, saved household in tow, the most expensive car money can buy, the biggest house on the block, and a ministry with lots of money, a private airplane, and many members. In the midst of believing materialism is the only way God can speak to us, we’ve forgotten the power of just being with God, loving Him, and just being with Him as He is. That’s intimacy. We do not have an intimate relationship with God if we are only waiting, trusting, and talking to God so we can get our concept of “the best” from Him. God is already the best we could ever have, and more than enough, just as He is. If from now until Jesus comes back, God never does another thing for us, what He’s done is already enough. He’s proven Himself worthy of our relationship, our time, our labors, and our trust…and yet we don’t give those things to Him. I often think of Job, who lost so much in his life, but found so much more through his experience with God…maybe some of us don’t receive more because we can’t hear God through all the stuff we have, now. In order to get to the “best” God wants us to have, some of us need a major downgrade in our lives: we need less things, less noise, less of the wrong people, and less stress. We need to know how to appreciate and love God, just as He is, whether we see our perception of the best in our lives, or not. We need to trust God for the best, as we step out in obedience with Him.

The more I listen to the song, “Breathing,” the more I see intimacy with the Father…and the more I long for it. It is where healing lies. It is where revelation lies. It is where inspiration lies. It is where God’s “best” resides. In intimacy with God, it doesn’t matter what we have in the material world, or what we don’t have. Our imperfections are not counted against us, because there we are able to transform from glory to glory, and faith to faith. In weaknesses, His power can be made perfect within us. If God speaks, it’s wonderful, if He does not, that’s all right, too – the point is to just be with Him, and where He is…to where all we need is to hear His very presence, His Spirit’s breath, move within and among us.

(c) 2012 Lee Ann B. Marino. All rights reserved.)

Breathing (performed by Lifehouse, from the album, No Name Face)

I’m finding my way back to sanity again
Though I don’t really know what I’m going to do when I get there
Take a breath and hold on tight, spin around one more time
And gracefully fall back to the arms of Grace

‘Cause I am hanging on every word you say and
Even if you don’t want to speak tonight that’s alright, alright with me
‘Cause I want nothing more than to sit outside Heaven’s door
And listen to you breathing, is where I want to be, yeah
Where I want to be

I’m looking past the shadows in my mind into the truth and I’m
Trying to identify the voices in my head, God which one’s you?
Let me feel one more time what it feels like to feel alive
And break these calluses off of me, one more time

‘Cause I am hanging on every word you say and
Even if you don’t want to speak tonight that’s alright, alright with me
‘Cause I want nothing more than to sit outside your door
And listen to you breathing, is where I want to be, yeah

I don’t want a thing from you
Bet you’re tired of me waiting for the scraps
To fall off your table to the ground
‘Cause I just want to be here now

‘Cause I am hanging on every word you say and
Even if you don’t want to speak tonight that’s alright, alright with me
‘Cause I want nothing more than to sit outside Heaven’s door
And listen to you breathing, is where I want to be, yeah

‘Cause I am hanging on every word you say and
Even if you don’t want to speak tonight that’s alright, alright with me
‘Cause I want nothing more than to sit outside Heaven’s door
And listen to you breathing, is where I want to be, yeah

Where I want to be
Where I want to be

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