A sudden intake of breath
Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7 (NRSVA)
15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, ‘You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.’
(3) 1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God say, “You shall not eat from any tree in the garden”?’ 2 The woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; 3 but God said, “You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.”’ 4 But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not die; 5 for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.
I’m not a thrill seeker. I like to keep my feet firmly on the ground! A few years ago, though, I went to Alton Towers with my cousin. As it was just the two of us I had agreed to go on the rides with her. I honestly don’t know why I agreed to this! In my naivety I thought it would be fun. First stop was the ride called Oblivion, a rollercoaster in which the “thrill” is a sheer drop.
We get strapped in and my cousin is hyper with excitement. I try to settle my nerves keep an open mind. I tell myself it is safe that I’ll enjoy it.
The nerves rise.
We crank slowly up the steep metal slope.
The fear rises in me.
I can’t get out.
Oh no this was a bad move, I shouldn’t have agreed to this.
Lord, I pray, keep us safe.
We reach the top of the slope.
We are held for what seems like an age.
I silently scream in my head, let me out,
let me out,
LET ME OUT!!!
And we are falling,
plummeting to the ground.
It seems like we are falling… forever.
Please Lord, keep me safe, don’t let me die.
We are still falling,
when will this stop.
I can’t breathe,
I can’t breathe,
I CAN’T BREATHE!!!
Before we touch the ground, the metal carriage veers off to the left taking us to safety before grinding to a halt. I rush to get myself unfastened. I stumble out of the carriage; my legs unsteady and my breath heavy as I gasp for air. “That’s it,” I say, “No more rollercoaster rides for me!”
But that isn’t strictly true because life is full of rollercoaster rides. Rollercoaster rides of wrong decisions and the subsequent consequences. Rollercoaster rides when all we can do is pray for the Lord to protect us and help us make better choices in the future.
Guide us to make wise choices
Help us to hear your words speaking in our ears and in our hearts.
Protect us Lord from ourselves, our naivety, our over excitement, our disregard.
The Transforming Breath: Each morning this week spend 5 minutes mindful of your breath, perhaps breathing slowly in and out. As you do consider the day ahead and think of all the places and situations your breath is going to take you today. You may wish to say a short prayer offering the upcoming day to God.