“the first breath evokes major changes of circulatory pattern in the newborn. post-birth, the partial pressure of oxygen at the peripheral chemoreceptor is decreasing, and the partial pressure of carbon dioxide at the peripheral and the central chemoreceptors is increasing. these changes in blood-gases probably contribute to initiation of the first breath.” – circulatory and respiratory changes at birth lecture from physiology class. things change when the child to take his first breath, so that he can have his heart/lung functioning normally. it means closing the ductus arteriosus and foramen ovale in the right heart, decreasing the resistance of the pulmonary circuit and such — i don’t remember much anymore -.-
but one thing that struck me the most was the ‘immersion reflex’ – it is the reflex that we have when our face is suddenly immersed in water, it causes us to response it by ceasing our breath. therefore, at birth, removal of the face from water may eliminate one factor otherwise inhibits respiration.
this afternoon, i was at a saloon for a haircut (mom, 🙁 come back from Burma and cut my hair already!!!!!) and the barber washed my hair before cutting it. i knew she would wash my hair, but at the second she started sprinkling water to my hair (not even my face), i stopped breathing at once… after about 5 seconds realizing that it was just a reflex, and she will not pouring water to my face, i began breathing again. then i started on thinking about the ‘immersion reflex’ in babies, and how the baptizing could relate to us. the Greek word “baptism” means to immerse, submerse and emerge. it is an act of obedience to typify what has happened to us spiritually.
it is interesting that the symbol of confirming to become a Christian is by being baptized with the water. i remember getting baptized when i was about 14, and it was a full immersion. i remember coming out so cold, and breathing heavily though the pastor closed my nose as he immersed me into the water. — now, as i come out the water, as i accept Christ as my Savior, there needs to be changes inside of me like the newborn baby. i feel sorry that those changes did not happen as quick because of my sinful heart, but nonetheless nothing was out of God’s control. it should have been as if i don’t get to breath His presence, my heart and lungs will not function. being ‘born again’ – being born of the Spirit, i am a different person then and now although i may look the same outside. the air i breathe, the things i desire, the logic i make, everything gotta be new now through the Spirit living in me. Because that is what Jesus came to do as John the Baptist says, “i baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than i, whose sandals i am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” Matthew 3:11
for us who are in Christ, being baptized does not just mean cleansing our sins, it is a way for us to receive the Holy Spirit who is constantly changing us to be more and more like Christ. i know i still have my sins, addictions, and idols in my life, but the day i came out of that water accepting Christ as my Lord, my life was never the same again. sometimes, we feel more powerful as we breathe the same with the world because it is so much easier, we are also in control of what we breathe and it is just so good to be the same page with everyone else. sometimes, we feel so weak to walk the narrow road and follow Christ because it means to be different from the world, denying oneself to breathe of His holiness. this is what i have been feeling, and also in some friends along the road. however we have to remember, the immersion does not drown the person, with faith, the immersed person comes out of water with a new Spiritual birth. and we are breathing of God’s very breath again to be alive, which is better than anything else we can ever imagine. we have hope because as God is knitting our lives He makes it perfect for His glory without any mutation in our genes.
tonight, it is my prayer to breathe of only God’s presence and make His Word my daily bread. ahh.. i am desperate for Him because as i came out of the water, as i want to live for Him, i feel like weaker and weaker. it makes sense because it is Him working in life and not my own flesh. it is all Him.
The Lord their God is with them;
the shout of the King is among them.
God brought them out of Egypt;
they have the strength of a wild ox.
There is no sorcery against Jacob,
no divination against Israel.
It will now be said of Jacob
and of Israel, “see what God has done!” – Numbers 21b-23
tomorrow- new haircut, new neuroscience class, and new strength in the Lord.