And Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it’s good to be here. Let’s make three tents . . .
In October, 1988, an Alaskan Eskimo discovered three gray whales who were drowning. Surrounded by Arctic ice, the whales punched out a small breathing hole, but it was quickly icing over. The Eskimo returned with others who wielded chainsaws and pick axes to cut a series of holes in order to lead the whales back to open water.
The work was exhausting, but their story was picked up by the national news. Soon, oil companies and the military were donating equipment to help free Bonnet, Crossbeak, and Bone – the names given to the three whales. By creating a series of breathing holes, the rescue teams eventually led the whales to open water.
When we are overwhelmed by the pressures of life, have you noticed how we often speak of “drowning”? We need “breathing holes.” If you don’t take regular time to come up for air you will starve your soul of oxygen and other people will notice that your lips are turning blue.
A breathing hole is any way that you can find quiet and refresh your soul. Where you can pray, and ponder, and let God’s love wash over you to cleanse you and heal your wounds.
Those who worked to make breathing holes for the gray whales noticed that the whales were bleeding. The ice on the sides of the hole was so jagged that the whales were cutting themselves when they tried to come up for air. The smallest whale, Bone, eventually tore all the flesh off his snout and died.
Can I ask you something? Is your “breathing hole” jagged around the edges? I have seen people who go to worship or read books for a breath of fresh air, but come away bloodied with guilt. Don’t get me wrong – sometimes, conviction of sin and rebuke are necessary. But remember this: the Good News of Jesus is always exactly that – GOOD news.
Our first priority is to find breathing holes with smooth edges. But, our second priority is to leave them.
The rescuers made a series of breathing holes, but the whales didn’t want to move from the one they were at.
Neither did Peter. Standing on a high mountain with James and John, he saw Jesus shine with a glory greater than the sun. This moment was so awesome, that Peter wanted to stay, and offered to build shelters up there on the peak.
The shelters were never built. To love and serve a hurting world, they would have to go down the mountain.
Breathing holes are not meant to escape from the hectic demands of life, but to re-enter the fray with a lungful of fresh air.
(copyright 2012 by Marty Kaarre)