Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.Romans 12:12
Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Joshua 1:8
Like most kids who grew up in the 90's, one of my favorite sitcoms was "Saved By The Bell." Even though in my teen years I was probably closer to Screech in terms of awkwardness and looks, I wanted to be Zack Morris, the charismatic and charming kid who ruled Bayside High School. Not only did he manage to date Kelly Kapowski (my first childhood crush), but he always got away with his crazy schemes and hijinks.
But, the skill Zack possessed that I desperately wanted was his ability to stop time and alter the immediate future by simply yelling, "Time Out!" Everything and everybody would instantly freeze. This trick would've saved me on numerous occasions as I tried to navigate the unpredictability known as adolescence and coming of age.
Now, with my 40th birthday right around the corner, I wish I had the power to hit the pause button and stop time. And I desire this not just because every time I blink my two daughters get older and I gain another few strands of grey hair, but because it would help me grow in my faith and deepen my connections with others.
Let me explain. When we continue to run at a frantic pace, God's purpose and movement in our lives become a blur. Then there are those moments of heartache, loss, confusion, and difficulty. Because they are painful and uncomfortable, we do our best to fast forward through them while God urges us to trust Him as we face them. The act of pausing in the midst of our hectic culture provides us with much-needed perspective and insight that would have otherwise gone missing and unnoticed if we rushed.
We might not able to pause time and cause the world to come to a screeching halt, but we all are capable of practicing stillness by blowing up a moment. It might look like taking a few seconds to consider our words and our intentions before we speak up or act out. It could involve thinking relationship first and considering the other person's perspective and needs before pushing our own. Instead of forcing our way, perhaps we wait and invite God to lead us and show us His ways.
Today, when you want to respond to a situation out of fear, anger, frustration or insecurity, call for a "Time Out." Ask the Holy Spirit to search your heart. Then, you can respond, rather than react. There is power in the pause, more than you can realize or imagine. Leverage it by listening to His voice.
- Where do you need to call a "Time Out"? What would it look like for you to pause and blow up this moment? What insight do you hope to gain?
God, help me to be aware of how You are leading me today. Rather than rush ahead, may I keep in step with You. Instead of being impulsive or reactionary, give me the courage to respond to the circumstances I face with courage and faith. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.