Our Own Spiritual Health First

oxygen maskEvery time you fly the pre-flight safety lecture by the flight attendants includes proper use of the oxygen mask. A loss of air pressure in the cabin will activate the dropping down of the oxygen masks. You’re instructed to put yours on before you attempt to help a child, or someone else, get theirs on. Why? You aren’t going to be able to help someone else get oxygen if you don’t first have it yourself. When you’re passed out you’re pretty much useless to anyone else.

I see a corollary for those of us who shepherd people along the spiritual journey. We aren’t going to be able to help them take in the breath of life unless we are first breathing that Holy Spirit rarefied air ourselves. I’m not comfortable with the secular philosophical statement, “Take care of yourself first,” but we really aren’t much good to others if we don’t first let God be good to us.

This means that I don’t allow the busyness of ministry to crowd out my own personal time with the Lord. This means that I don’t find my greatest satisfaction in ministering the Lord to others but in allowing the Lord to minister to me.

“And with that he breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’” (John 20:22) We must inhale before we can exhale, take in a breath before we can speak, take in the breath of the Holy Spirit before we can exhale a Holy Spirit inspired word.

Inhale before you exhale, inhale and then exhale.  This concludes our breathing lesson for today.

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