The announcement of my retirement to the Christ Church family has in so many ways brought me up short. I’m aware that I’m not always breathing and how I was reminded of the most profound of all spiritual practices—breathing. Mindful breathing is a discipline with more power and resources than most would expect.

I am finding that in breathing I’m able to exhale regrets, injuries, failings. By inhaling I experience acceptance, forgiveness, and love. What I am experience is inhaling freedom and exhaling disappointments and never-realized dreams. This has led me to understand the church as a living organism that needs breath. Whenever we as a faith community exhale love and possibility of God’s grace, we discover that we are investing in the lives of people God is calling us to serve.

Those who breathe deeply in the church are so well oxygenated that they give strength to all that we do. Yet there are so many things that we do that make us hold our breath. There are anxieties and doubts and uncertainty about the future. There will be the transition and retirement, and a new chapter to unfold. I will be breathing and using it as a form of prayer, trusting that we will all be invested in what will come next.