by Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, 1/29/15

If you haven’t heard, there is an expanding controversy concerning contracted game balls from the AFC championship game last week. Eleven of the twelve game balls used by the New England Patriots were found to be under inflated. Critics cried foul. Clamoring fans blamed the climate. Coaches theorized wildly concerning the physics of time and temperature on pigskins and laces. Even physicists weighed in on the conditions required to deflate those balls under natural conditions.
If I am honest, I am not really a sports guy, unless it involves one of my alma maters: Samford, Duke or Mercer. Beyond that, I am one of those fans who pays attention when things get interesting. All of this talk about how external conditions affect internal pressure, leaves me wondering how well we gauge our own inner life. Popular catch phrases belie this same fascination with inspiration and our inner life. If someone is overly haughty, they are “full of hot air.” If your inner life is flagging, then you may be “depressed.” If your inner life gets a lift, then you may say that you are “inspired.” I can almost hear, “You Are the Wind Beneath my Wings” as a soundtrack to this post. The word “inspire” means to breathe in in Latin. The biblical text describes the Spirit of God as breath or wind. From the creation texts of Genesis to the encouragement of Jesus in the Gospels, we are meant to be inspired by God …to literally be God breathed or inspired by God.
So maybe you are going through your day feeling deflated, because that is the level of inspiration on which you can get a grip. Maybe we need to invite inspiration by pausing and praying and by simply breathing in and breathing out.