In today’s gospel reading from John, we have the death and resurrection of Lazarus. I call it resurrection because I can only imagine that Lazarus’ life was very different now that he was raised after being dead for a few days. I would think that he wasn’t just resuscitated, but resurrected. Life didn’t return to normal. Life was now very different for sure.
I would imagine that the whole event inspired Lazarus to live life differently. He might not have taken people and things for granted anymore. This moment of resurrection gave him that second chance to make amends or make an impact on his community and world. He was living life more fully.
The word “inspiration” comes from the Latin, inspirare, which literally means “to breath in.” To be inspired means to breath in. Think about some of your most inspiring moments. Might we describe them as “taking our breath away?” From the moment of our creation, we read in Genesis that God breathed life into us humans. God inspired us from the very beginning and gave us the breath of life.
I read somewhere recently that, in general, we humans shallow breathe. We don’t take very deep breaths throughout our waking moments. I have recently started meditating, and one of the things that I start with is awareness of my breathing, and taking a few deep breaths. I am inspiring myself! To think that our bodies and minds need oxygen and could use a few more deep breaths throughout our day (I hope you are taking a deep breath right now!).
But beyond the deep breaths, we also need to be inspired, to breath in the depth and breadth of life. To take life in so deeply that it reaches not only the bottom of our lungs, but the very bottoms of our spirits and our hearts! To touch the deepest parts of our very being so that we are breathing in all that we are supposed to take in!
And, to think that ANY moment can contain the life-giving air of inspiration! We need more inspiration to revive our sleepy (and sometimes dead) lives! We walk around, shallow breathing, and in a stupor of near unconsciousness! We need someone to yell at us just like Jesus yelled to Lazarus, “HEY! WAKE UP! COME OUT OF YOUR DEATH SLEEP!” Maybe what we just need to do is breathe deeply. And what can happen in that moment is the same thing that happened to Lazarus. He was liberated. He was unbound and let go. He was released for life.
Where might we find our inspiration today? What might our day feel like if we started it with some deep breathing? My suspicion is that we might experience the same walk from darkness into light.