The Power of the Pause


      When we watch Netflix or a DVD we have this remarkable feature we can use any time.  We can pause the movie.  It allows us to greet someone who has just arrived home, run to the bathroom or go make some popcorn.  Pause gives us a few minutes to regroup.  Today as a country, because the Coronavirus, it's like God has hit a massive pause button.  I want to return to normal as much as anyone, but let's acknowledge the power of the pause.  What could we learn from this unique season of our lives?
      This pause has forced many of us to think about death.  We are all like cut flowers; we look good but the clock is ticking.  In the book of James, we are told our lives are like a vapor.  There is a song we sing in church with the line "We are a moment, He is forever."  COVID-19 reminds us of our mortality.  Christians do not need to fear death.  We count on the resurrection of Jesus Christ for our eternity.  We look forward to heaven.
     This pause has led to more time with family (unless you are sheltering alone).  I have always played board games with my kids, but we are definitely spending more face to face time together.  In some ways this is a sweet time where our schedules have been cleared of so much.  Long, leisurely dinners with our family are a positive part of our new "normal."
      This season of pause gives us time to evaluate everything.  Maybe you've lost your job at least temporarily.  What is your unique calling in life? What does God want you to do with your life?  This pause might give some the push to leave the wrong job even though there is some risk involved.  What about the business owner?  Usually innovation comes from necessity.  What innovation could help blossom your business now and in the future?  
      This pause gives us the opportunity to grow spiritually.  Maybe you've been saying you didn't have time to read the Bible regularly.  Now you do.  The question is what will be accomplished in your life during this pause?  Hopefully, more than binge-watching a new TV program!  Call and check on that struggling person.  Start a daily prayer journal.  Begin writing that book you've always thought God wanted you to write.  Call and interview your aging parents or grandparents.  You might find a section of your family history that you know nothing about.   Some questions about your family might get answered.  Pray like you've never prayed before for our leaders.  Imagine being the President or Governor during this time.  Think of the weight on those individuals as they consider how all of this is affecting our health, economy, our freedoms and literally the very lives of thousands.  Take the time to write out a personal growth plan for the coming year.
      Finally, many of us have been living at an unsustainable pace of life for a long time. It's ok to allow this pause to be a time of rest and refreshment.  Refreshment looks different for various people.  Take a walk, go ride the snow machine, read a good book; find a way to decompress.   And sometimes the best activity for your emotional, physical and spiritual health is to get more sleep.  For the brain, sleep is like when the night cleaning crew comes in and cleans up the place.  Make sure you get your sleep, sometimes that is the holiest thing you can do.
      My hope is that during this unique season you will experience the power of pause—rest, renew and reset.
Pastor Derek Dickinson
Journey Christian Church