Most of us could use more inspiration in our lives. But where can inspiration be found?

As a scientist, I have found that we need look no further than the processes taking place inside our very own bodies. I was fortunate to have attended yeshivah before entering Cornell’s Ph.D. program in cell biology and Where can inspiration be found?genetics. Having that background enabled me to study biology with an open heart. Examining the incredibly intricate workings of the human body, I felt awed before the infinite intelligence of our Creator.

I would like to share some of that experience. I hope it will inspire the same feelings of wonder and gratitude that I felt as a student, and still feel today, when I contemplate these things.

Let’s begin with breathing. Breathing is a fantastic process that a healthy body carries out perfectly, minute after minute, day after day, year after year, without our ever having to think about it. Things get even more interesting when we look at the demanding and complicated “missions” that breathing accomplishes in our bodies. Is this talk about difficult missions starting to sound like a James Bond movie? Perhaps yes, but that’s because breathing is, to me, just as dramatic. But don’t take my word for it; you can decide for yourself.

If you’re reading this article, you are breathing. An average person breathes at least 20,000 times per day, even more if we are physically active. Most healthy people don’t think about breathing, unless they are trying to swim underwater across an Olympic-sized pool (or, for an uncoordinated person like myself, trying to do the freestyle stroke without inhaling water).

Now, let’s look at what breathing accomplishes. For starters, we have about 50 trillion We have about 50 trillion live cells in our bodieslive cells in our bodies, a hard number for most of us to comprehend. Maybe it helps to think that 50 million cells is only one-millionth of the cells in our body (or maybe not). In any case, every one of those cells requires oxygen to function. Most of the cells in our body are too far from the surface to get oxygen from the air. They thus rely on blood vessels to bring them fresh oxygen by connecting them to the lungs.

You probably know that blood vessels bring depleted blood from the body’s extremities into the lungs, where it is revitalized and pumped back out again to the body. You may not know just how extensive the network is. Because the cells use up oxygen so quickly, every live cell has to be very close to a blood vessel. I mean really close: about one-tenth of a millimeter (1/250th of an inch). That means that we need to have an incredibly extensive network of blood vessels inside us. In fact, if we laid all our blood vessels end to end, they would stretch 100,000 km (62,000 miles)!

Consider the fact that your small heart, no bigger than your fist, is constantly pumping blood through that whole 62,000-mile network without ever getting tired. And your lungs are constantly working to replenish the depleted blood coming into them quickly enough to deliver oxygen to every one of those 50 trillion cells, literally on a minute-by-minute basis, without our ever needing to think about it.

Now let’s pause, take a deep breath, and give thanks to the Designer.