In his book, Living into the Life of Jesus, Klauss Issler describes a simple but powerful visual that can remind us to pause for a moment when life is putting the squeeze on.
On a sticky-note, draw a circle and write the word, “Pause.” This will serve as your very own pause button. If you’d like, you can make several of them and place them in strategic locations – bathroom mirror, refrigerator, computer screen, car dash board, etc. These portable buttons will be helpful reminders that you have permission to pause, breathe, and pray whenever you need it.
The obvious challenge is that we live in a “press play” world, where not much value is placed on clicking the pause button. In fact, it is probably safe to say that our culture’s collective pause button is terminally broken. Taking time to re-calibrate our spirit to God’s has gotten lost to ceaseless activity.
I’m afraid it is starting to catch up with us.
French Jones, a licensed professional counselor, describes the dilemma this way:
“…we observe domestic violence, road rage, and countless stories in our newspapers every day of people who live on edge and explode emotionally or physically in all sorts of violent ways. It seems a significant shift needs to occur in our thinking. Slowing down means accomplishing less—being less productive in some ways—but it also means staying healthy in other ways.”
It may help us to remember that our Creator is all for pausing. To set the precedent, on the seventh day, He himself paused. And in Psalm 46:10, we hear him giving us all the permission we will ever need to do the same. He says,
Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!
In the midst of the madness and mania of our world, it is sometimes difficult to believe that God is still in control.
But He is.
We can breathe deeply because He is sovereign. No crisis or catastrophe – no matter how severe – could possibly thwart His ultimate, redemptive plan (Job 42:1-3). In Jesus, the future is forever secure.
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1
A life without periodic pausing is a life that is being steadily drained of _______________(fill in the blank). To be quiet and still in the presence of our Creator is essential for the soul.
Sure, life will go on around us, but we make our best contribution horizontally when we intentionally withdraw every now and then, and focus vertically.
Need permission to pause? It’s yours.
It’s a new day with God. Run with it.