The Power of Pause

A pause is a rest from a work, a break from an activity, a hiatus from a routine, a recess from labor, a breather from exercise, a gap from a constant flow. At first it sounds like a pause might not be a good thing or counter-productive, and there is fear we might lose momentum, but something amazing happens as we take moments to step aside from the schedule, push back from the table, stop, turn off the noise, unplug, power down, or log off.

I learned the power pause as I trained for the Long Beach Marathon some years back. I used a method that brings in pauses even as I ran the grueling 26.2 miles. The idea is you run for an interval and walk for time. I chose to run for three minutes and walk one minute. The science behind this method is that pause from running helps the body recharge so it can keep going at an even pace. My time for the marathon was about 12-13 minutes a mile through the whole time. The power of pause kept me going!

The power of pause is the same in weight lifting. Actually, it’s in the pause, the rest where muscles grow. So truly there is power in pause. But this power in pause is not just in exercise. In speaking (my major in college, a degree in Speech Communication) where I learned the power of pause in speaking. A pause in speaking does so much; it draws in the listener as they now have time to think through what was just said, it opens space for those hearing to process how they feel about what is said, and it… creates… emphasis… and dramatic… intensity… to a story! There is power in pause.

This power of pause is also true in life and especially in our prayer life with God. We are challenged in the Bible book of Psalm (a guide book on how to pray and patterns of kinds prayers) to pause.
Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
The words ‘be still’ means to literally take your hands off of your work, relax, be quiet, be silent, pause from what you are doing and focus in on who God is; His attributes, His character, what He has done, His power, His might, His love, His kindness and the great life we have in Him. This is where the power of this kind of pause comes in.

Psalm 62:1-2 For God alone my soul waits in silence; from Him comes my salvation. 2 He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.
See, when we pause in silence with a focus in on God, The Holy Spirit helps us understand this deep within our soul and incredible assurance, peace, love, and steadfastness fill our life.

Psalm 62:5-6 5 For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from Him. 6 He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
In these times of pause, hope and that deep help that shores up our life foundation is experienced. See, help in life is not found in our efforts or our continuing performance, but in who God is and that He has provided salvation for us, along with an amazing life in living life His way. (If you are curious about salvation, feel free to write back and we can chat or look up Romans 6:23, 3:23, 5:8 and John 1:12). The key is to take that pause and…
Psalm 62:8 Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah
Now that last word of this verse is very interesting, the word ‘Selah.’ Selah is used some 71 times in the Bible, mostly in the Psalms and three times in Habakkuk. There is a bit of confusion as to the meaning, but most commentators would say it means to pause and focus on God in relation to what was just written, because there is power in pause!

So here is a challenge for you today and beyond, build into your day moments of pause to focus on God. Maybe as you drive to work, turn off the music or news talk radio or thoughts of the task list ahead of you and pause…take a moment and soak in the silence, take a few deep breaths and focus your thoughts on God. Maybe you could wake up a few moments early and take that pause. You will be surprised at how that short little pause has the power to change your day. There is power in pause, let’s tap into that!

Seeking to make those powerful pauses with you,

Mike

PS This past Sunday we did talk about this under the title “Silence” as we continues our teaching series entitled, “Wrestling with God in Prayer: Intense Internal Interactions with God’s Holy Spirit about Life.” If you would like to listen to this sermon by Richard Horne, please go to our website: www.cypresschurch.net

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