When I was contacted to write a short blog with the topic being something that God is currently teaching me, I immediately drafted my response. “Of course, I would love to!” was written without even a pause to consider my existing commitments. In that moment, the Lord graciously convicted my heart with a gentle reminder. It is a lesson He is continuously teaching me that I like to refer to as The Pause. It is a quiet and reflective moment to evaluate my ability to give one-hundred percent of me to whatever is being asked of me. So often we fill our schedules with tasks and events that are accompanied by good intentions; however, we find ourselves burnt out, restless, and exhausted. Something has to change in our time management to make room for Godly encounters. I acknowledge that writing a three paragraph blog is no large commitment, but having too many small obligations frequently leads to a half-hearted job and an incomplete offering. After taking a few of days to contemplate my ability and time, I prayerfully accepted and knew that the topic must be the very issue I was struggling with a few days prior – The Pause.
The Pause is a principle that can be used before any response to anyone and is based on the biblical instruction to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry (James 1:19). I have found myself performing this practice in conversations with my husband, at work, with family members, and with friends. The Pause is essential to respond with wisdom, clarity, and kindness. The Lord is showing me the importance of managing my time and this is a simple tool that allows me to give my “best yes” as Lysa Terkeurst would say. It is crucial that we carve out time for the things that matter so we can feel rested and not overcommitted. When we quickly say yes to too many things without consulting our weekly planner and our Ultimate Planner, we reduce our ability to participate in the tasks God ordains for us specifically. Our daily goal as Christians is to live for God’s glory, so why would we not consult him throughout the day? We find ourselves overwhelmed and unavailable with busyness molding our identity instead of Christ. If we’re honest, we even sometimes seek affirmation and praise for our service or our ability to always be the “yes” person. This leaves us feeling empty, time and time again.
The Sabbath can be viewed as an Extended Pause – a time for prayer, praise, and reading God’s Word in His presence. There is no better time spent, yet for many of us it is the hardest commitment to make and follow through with. This precious time of rest is the only thing on your calendar that should require no hesitation at all. It fills you up and equips you to be used by God in all of the little moments throughout your day that require His strength. So as best as we can, let us practice The Pause so that we may be a people thriving on time with Jesus and the moments He has perfectly orchestrated for His glory. Let us not be preoccupied, but present and willing vessels for His message.