Press Pause


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Sometimes the most important and meaningful messages come through our children. One day, my son was looking out the window and I came by and he said…

“Shh, listen.”

“What am I listening for?”

“If you are quiet enough you can listen to God talking to us.”

In that moment we can either stop and listen or move our minds to say, “what’s in it for me?” rather than stopping, or we start to worry that we are missing out.

The wisdom of children comes in two words: “shh, listen.”

The Shh requires us to stop. To sit still. Oh, and to do one more thing… wait.

There is nothing that will get us closer to the truth of anything than obtaining wisdom (acceptance, experience, insight, observation, understanding) than pressing that pause button.

This is a hard place to be sometimes because we are all about ‘closing the deal.’ We want the answer now. The other side of the child comes out…

“Are we there yet?”

“Are we done?”

“Can I go play?”

We consistently desire to be somewhere or to get to someplace. If we are not there, we often add fuel to the guilt of not having ‘arrived’ in order to feel better.

The Truth?

If we were completely in charge, there would be zero waiting. No lines. No holding on. This is because waiting (pausing) doesn’t do anything and “by goodness we are doers.” Waiting wastes time and energy that we could be putting to good use, right? Waiting is not good for our health. It causes our blood pressure to rise. It is exhausting. It causes us to do things we regret, like reading magazines I the doctors office.

Plus, isn’t life supposed to be about movement? Activity, achievement, aggressiveness, that sense of urgency, excitement, getting things done… all of this is what we should be focusing on.

Waiting is pain.

Waiting is misery.

Waiting is hard.

Waiting is an ordeal.

Waiting is a problem.

Waiting needs to be avoided at ALL costs.

The REAL Truth

What if…

What if the “shh, listen” has nothing to do with achievements or activities. What if the urgency, the excitement, the aggression we have towards getting things done takes a break?

Press pause.

What if the “shh, listen” is about receiving? Receiving is a gift. Receiving is embracing something that is given. This day, this moment is a gift.

What if we allow these moments to break through and into our souls, into that place where busyness, importance, and indulgence lives?

Waiting forces us slow down, to listen. To discern. Pausing helps us to sift through, to separate apart.

Only in silence can we truly hear ourselves. Maybe that person in the park sitting on the bench has the answers. Or possibly the one who seems to sit on the beach all day, every day in the same place. They may have figured it out. 

Pausing means that our control over our time has been removed.   

When we finally press pause, we begin to feel something. We slow down. Our urgencies recede. We know we are waiting. In that waiting we can descend into the present moment.

Taking time to find those “shh, listen” moments throughout our day, week, or month grants us access into our own souls. When we find those places, we find solace. We find freedom. We rediscover ourselves, our passions, our purposes, and our visions.

Coming back to the surface after those pauses permits us to step into a bigger version of ourselves. The version that is reenergized, refocused, reorganized, and rejuvenated to handle what comes at us.

We become unstoppable.

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