Well, as many of you already know, I have not had the best of health for the past couple of years. About six months ago I finally went in for a sleep study. I went to the hospital, got all wired up, and came out looking like a terrorist attacker. Seriously, I got into the elevator and people started moving away from Jaime and me. So I would make a joke: “You do not want to go upstairs to that office.” They would just smirk, but not really say anything. Of course I did not blame them. I looked like I was nuts. As I went to sleep that night something came over me though (besides about twenty wires). I started to think to myself, “What if I stopped breathing in the night and I did not wake up?” For someone with obstructive sleep apnea, it is always a possibility. The doctor told me I stop breathing nine times an hour and for five to ten seconds at a time. That is scary! So, I wanted to do something about it. I wanted my quality of sleep to be better. I wanted to stick around as long as I can for my family, friends, and ministry.
Finally on January 9th, 2018 I went in and got my machine and “nose hose” (I call it), and hooked it up. I am not going to lie to you, I was nervous. Constant air going up my nose all night was very strange. Wearing the beautiful elephant nose piece was less than romantic, to say the least. Watching my kid’s faces as they tried kissing me goodnight on the forehead, well, it was pretty amusing. But, there is something about breathing that overrides all of that. Amen?
I was reminded what Solomon said about life. In Ecclesiastes 1:2, Solomon gives the theme to his book.
“‘Vanity of vanities,’ says the Preacher, ‘Vanity of vanities! All is vanity.’”
Or, “Meaningless, meaningless, all (life) is meaningless.”
Solomon does not really start off his message in the most hopeful light. But what I like about this book, and about King Solomon (the wisest man of all), is the truth behind his words. He was the richest man, the most powerful man, he had the most women, and all the valuables a king could want. Yet, with all of that, he begins with these words. One writer says this: “The one called “the Preacher” violates a basic preaching principle. He tells his readers up front that he has nothing to say because “all is vanity. Everything is temporal Solomon shouts.”
In this one verse, Solomon uses the word “vanity” or the Hebrew word, “Hebel,” five times. It also appears thirty-eight times in Ecclesiastes and only thirty-five other times elsewhere in the Old Testament. The term is used in every chapter of Ecclesiastes, with the exception of chapter ten. Life is not totally meaningless or without any ultimate purpose. The point that Solomon is making is that you live for eighty-five years and then you’re gone. Physically speaking, life is short and then you die. You will lose everything you own to the next generation. Your children will own your house, keep your possessions, and invest your inheritance. Ultimately, you will be a loving memory in the hearts you sewed. Apart from God---apart from a relationship with His Son, Jesus…. Life is but a vapor.
Well, I had my first night on the breathing machine. I received an email today from the company that monitors my sleep that said,
You’ve earned a First Night myair badge!
I got a virtual badge for breathing - which made me stop and think. I hope the life I have been breathing for has been more meaningful than that. I hope your life, the breaths you make each day, is breathing for something eternal. Sleep well tonight my friends. “Meaningful, Meaningful, all is meaningful,” when you have Christ in your life! Good night! -Troy