This is Pastor Tim’s article which appeared in the Evening Leader on Monday, March 21, 2022.
These past few days, I had the chance to learn a new appreciation for one of the most basic human experiences: breathing.
I was at a conference in Columbus over the weekend and the morning I was to head down, my sinuses were burning. I knew that wasn’t a good sign. I went to Columbus anyway but by the time lunch came around, I was a full-blown mouth breather. The timing of this couldn’t have been worse, and it ruined what was meant to be a very special weekend. I don’t get out of St. Marys very often so I had the chance to enjoy being in a very nice hotel and meet some people from all over Ohio. Instead of being able to do that, I had to do everything I could to not embarrass myself by shoving tissues up my nose. I could barely make it through a session without having to get up to leave so I could take care of my issue. I still got a lot out of the experience, but it could have been so much more without this stupid sinus infection from hell.
I had been planning this trip for months. All my reservations were made. And while I was worried about having my good shoes with me or having a jacket to wear to the formal dinner on Friday night, I ended up having to be concerned about the wide-open faucet on the front of my face.
Sometimes that is just how life is; it throws you curveballs. Although there were a lot of people at this convention who now think I have the plague, I want to use my prime embarrassment to make sure of one thing: that you never ever take for granted the miracle of breathing. It is a precious gift that I have the upmost appreciation for right now. I can’t wait until I am able to do it normally again.
Isn’t it a shame that it takes an illness or an injury to help us realize how much we take for granted? I don’t think much about my knees until they get sore. For years, I never thought much about my eyesight until I had to get glasses last year. And I don’t truly appreciate my car until it doesn’t start. I guess it is true; the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Isn’t that a shame?
What this sinus infection has caused me to do is to take a good look at my life. Of all the things that I thought might ruin my weekend trip, breathing was not one of them. But now that the trip is over, I have to admit, that breathing was a big part of what I had planned to do on this trip. What important parts of your life are you not paying attention to? Don’t wait until it is too late to be thankful for the simple things in life.
This principle can go for a lot of things, much more than breathing. Enjoy your youth because everything works so well when you are young. Enjoy your family because someday, that family dynamic will be very different. Enjoy the opportunities that you have today because those opportunities may not be available tomorrow. You never know when you will no longer have something that you don’t pay enough attention to today. Life is fleeting. In fact, almost everything in this world is fleeting. There are no guarantees of tomorrow. Just like my trip, I had a checklist to make sure I had everything I would need. Breathing was not on that list, and I ended up not taking that ability to breathe normally with me. Sure, I didn’t really have a choice in the matter, but it was a good reminder that there is so much goodness in this world that we don’t pay enough attention to.
I hated what happened to my weekend because I wanted so much more out of it. Nevertheless, it was a good reminder that the normal parts of life are also the very important parts of life, and just because we don’t spend a lot of time thinking about them doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be thankful for them. That goes for not only basic bodily functions like breathing, but it also for people, places, and opportunities.
Don’t wait until it is too late to appreciate.