Raptured by Oxygen

I received some not-so-good news recently and it’s caused a bit of a storm inside of me.


“Is my world ending?” I nervously asked myself this morning.


“Yes. And give it another ten seconds and it will end all over again,” I replied to..um….myself.


I looked over and noticed the cute couple sitting next to me in the coffeehouse were giving my one-man conversation a concerned look.


While I’m getting used to getting those looks - I decided to write out the rest of what was on my heart.


Here is what I wrote:


The end of the world doesn’t interest me as much as what happens at the end of my next breath.


Breathing is my book of revelation. I am raptured by oxygen to the afterlife of the very next moment.


I can’t control if I’m in the crosshairs of a world-ending comet sent by the cosmos or a missile sent by a general. I have no say on the temperament of the nearby Yellowstone Caldera or the expiration date of our faraway sun. I won’t ever be able to stop a mile-high tsunami or an alien invasion or a person with a gun who wants to shoot up a grocery store that I just happens to pop in pick up some Gala Apples.


The schedule of those events happening are way outside my pay grade to control.


What I can control is my breathing and what I do with my next burst of air I invite to picnic on the lawn of my lungs. The moment I breathe in a fat dose of oxygen my old world passes and a new one begins.


I have no say on the arrival of Armageddon. Destiny has not hired me to make any decisions.


What I can control is how much I honor each breath I get to take. If I remain mindful of my breathing, every inhalation is an invitation to replant the garden of Eden inside of me. Every inhalation is a new gospel of my existence.


From what I remember from my high school

Science class suggests that we humans take between 8-15 breaths per minute. According to my D- math skills, that’s a breathing rate of at least around 7 opportunities every 60 seconds for us to clean the slate and start all over.


When I focus on the miracle of breathing it becomes a river baptism that I get dunked in over and over.


I’m not being kind right now

- (breathe and be reborn in mercy)


I just made a mistake

- (breathe and be washed clean)


I’m still not living my purpose

-(breathe and create a new life)


I’m so afraid

- (breathe and listen to angels sing in your lungs)


Yes, I breathe to live but I also I live to breathe. It is my favorite passion project. It is my theology. It is my life coach.


Breathing is the miracle that refreshes the browser of my heart over and over.


And yes, someday, I will take my final breath here on Earth - but even after I do I will still keep breathing. When my body becomes a purple nebula the miracle will continue. Instead of taking in air, I will be inhaling eternity and slowly exhaling it all into a black hole so I can watch my breath swirl like cotton candy.


So, no, I’m not concerned about the end of the world. My world ends and restarts a thousand times a day.


I’m not worried about death because I flirt with it in the lingering beat between my breaths.


If everything comes to a crashing halt tomorrow and I’m forced to become a new creation I won’t give it a second thought -


because I‘ve been practicing for that moment since my very first breath.


~ john roedel


(check out my new wall calendar for 2023 which features some of my favorite poetry and prose that I've written.)






1,146 views5 comments

Recent Posts

See All