You might not even realize it, but twelve to twenty times per minute, you breathe. Big deal, you say. Yeah, it is a big deal, I say.
Stick with me here, the next couple of paragraphs are going to hurt like high school biology, but the information is important.
Here’s a quick review of breathing . . .
Once you inhale, the air travels into your windpipe, which divides into air passages (bronchial tubes). As the bronchial tubes pass through the lungs, they divide into smaller air passages called bronchioles, which end in air sacs called alveoli. Your body has over 300 million alveoli. These are surrounded by blood vessels, and oxygen from inhaled air passes through the walls into the blood.
After absorbing oxygen, the blood leaves the lungs and is carried to your heart which pumps it through your body to provide oxygen to the cells of your tissues and organs.
As the cells use the oxygen, carbon dioxide is produced and absorbed into the blood. Your blood then carries the carbon dioxide back to your lungs through the capillaries, where it is removed from the body when you exhale.
So, don’t tell me you’re not miraculous . . .
This little act called breathing happens up to twenty times per minutes. And that is just one of the million miracles our bodies engage in every minute to keep us upright.
Today, when you’re sitting in a meeting that is mind-numbingly dull, think about the miracle of breath. Don’t think about it too much, or you’ll do what my husband does which is panic and start gasping for air.
But do remember that every moment that you’re alive, every moment that you take a breath and your heart beats and your fingers move and your voice is heard, every single moment is pretty amazingly synchronized and balanced and powerful.
When you start to whimper about “my life isn’t important enough”, just remember . . .
There is a creator who cares enough about your life to create 300 million alveoli so you can breathe. Three hundred million! You are a walking galaxy, containing worlds within you. And, yet, you encounter a long line at Target and suddenly decide your life is too painful for words. Or you fail to connect with your audience in one presentation and decide you’re not worthy of your job. Or you make one child angry and decide you’re a horrible parent.
Carl Sagan wrote, “The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.”
That’s right, we are made of the same stuff as stars. So, tonight when you want to wish upon a star, remember that you are one yourself. You have greatness and light and beauty within you.
And no line at Target or fussing child or lousy job can take that away.
So, today, hold your head high and shine like the star you are.