There’s a scene toward the end of Terminator 2 that has always stuck in my head. Ah-nold has gotten down fighting the evil T-1000. He’s endured a great deal of abuse at his enemy’s hands. He’s missing an arm, half of his face has been blasted off, and at one point, he had been impaled on a spike. John Connor rushes to his side to help him and utters an expletive over his condition.
The Terminator staggers forward and says in a dull voice, “I need a vacation.”
Ever felt that way? I know I have. Life seems to pull you to pieces and then grinds you down even further. Pretty soon you feel dry and dessicated, in desperate need of time away from your life and problems.
So you decide to take some time off. You’re going to get out of town, leave it all behind for a precious few days or maybe a week or two. And you’re hoping that it’ll be enough.
But it usually isn’t. Yes, it helps to get away from your problems for a while and you may even feel like you’ve been put back together again, but when you get back home, you find yourself back in the same grind and the problems you were trying to escape were just waiting for you. The vacation helped, but what you need is deeper than that.
It’s sort of like what the prophet Ezekiel saw in a vision:
The hand of the Lord came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. He said to me, “Mortal, can these bones live?” I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord.” So I prophesied as I had been commanded; and as I prophesied, suddenly there was a noise, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them; but there was no breath in them.
After seeing a valley full of dead bones, God instructs Ezekiel to tell them to get their act together. Form bodies. Become whole once more. And the bones do just that! They pull together, they knit back into what they once had been.
Incredible! But there’s still a vital component missing. They’ve reformed, but they have no breath.
So God gives Ezekiel some more instructions:
“Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath: Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.” I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude.
God tells Ezekiel to tell the “breath” (which could also be interpreted as “Spirit”) to enter the reformed bodies and bring them back to life. It wasn’t enough for them to be pieced together. They needed the breath, the Spirit, to make them truly live.
I think the same thing is true for us. In America, we’re getting into the season when people will start thinking about vacations. Heading out to cabins. Taking a break and enjoying the warmer weather. That’s good. It’s important to rest, to rejuvenate, to reform.
But at the same time, it’s important for us to wait for the breath too. It’s not enough to simply find rest for our bodies. We need the refreshing rejuvenation of the Spirit breathing into us and giving us new life.
Be sure to breathe deep, my friends. Let the Breath of God seep into your being and give you life!