In Featured, Pastor Paul's Blog

By Pastor Paul Gauche

Today’s Word: ‘Inspired’ as in… those moments in life that either take our breath away or breathe new life into us. Or both.

The basic trajectory of every human life is to move through each present moment toward an ever-more generative future. Understanding that our breath has a purpose, that it comes from the Source to move us toward new life, is the essence of inspiration. In John’s Gospel, Jesus promised his followers that the Spirit would continue to breathe life into their lives. The purpose of this ongoing inspiration is to breathe life into us as we breathe life into others, keeping everything moving toward life.

My list of ‘breath-taking-breath-giving-moments is lengthy. People I’ve known, places I’ve been, sights I’ve seen, music I’ve created, meals I’ve shared, countless breath-quickening moments with Nancy Lee, our kids, and our grandkids, are all equally breathtaking and breath-giving, each one a heart-pumping and life-inspiring gift.

On this long list, somewhere, is the experience of hiking the Superior Hiking Trail. Traversing into deep forests, over streams, through prairies, and up challengingly steep hillsides would frequently bring me to a high ridgeline. The reward was always a spectacular view of the Superior National Forest on one side and Lake Superior on the other. With my heart pounding, I’d hold the image, then close my eyes for just a moment setting the inspiring scene into my memory. Then, I’d intentionally receive twelve deep breaths, slowing my heart rate down enough to appreciate the scene more fully before me when I finally opened my eyes. After those deep breaths, I was both figuratively and physically ‘in-spired’ to carry on.

When we acknowledge that we’re continually being ‘inspired’ by the Source of all life, we recognize that the breath of the Spirit is moving us onward. There is purpose in every breath breathed into us. That’s what it means to be inspired.

Some questions: what kinds of experiences ‘take your breath away’? How do the things that “make you breathless” breathe life back into you? How does breathing the oxygen of the Spirit move you to move others?


Paul Gauche is the Pastor of Life Transitions at Prince of Peace. His posts are part of his #100days50words project, where he blogs about a different word each week. You can follow his project on Instagram (@pgauche) or his blog, Thriving Rhythms.

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