Pause is defined by Your Dictionary as a temporary stop or rest.
As a verb, pause means to stop, for a brief period of time.
A few years back, my husband Brad and I did a ropes course with a group of friends. We started with a name game, as several folks didn’t know one another.
Everyone stated their name as we formed a large circle. A clock started as a ball was tossed in the center. We had 60 seconds to keep the ball suspended in the air. The object was to keep the ball moving at all times. You couldn’t hold it. Whoever had the ball would toss it to someone else after first calling out their name. No one could be a receiver twice in a row. Each successive round another ball was added.
The object was to keep everyone in the game as possible without losing balls. If a ball touched the ground it was lost forever. At the end of the round if anyone was holding a ball they were out.
The first round was easy. By the 3rd round, everyone knew each other’s name, but it was a challenge to keep the balls suspended.
The saving grace was that once in each round anyone could call “PAUSE”. PAUSE stopped the game for 10 seconds, enabling us to regroup and strategize without losing balls or people.
It was a great illustration showing how complicated life gets the more we add.
The PAUSE factor didn’t buy more time, but it gave us mental pause to gain clarity on how to best utilize the time we did have.
The next event was to climb up a 30 foot post. There was a 2 foot by 2 foot platform at the top. From there, you were to jump off the post to grab a suspended rod which slowly lowered you back down. The climber was harnessed to a pulley for safety in case they fell or missed the rod.
I don’t like heights, but I absolutely hate having something that overcomes me. God created us to be overcomers right?
I opted to climb first. I was safe in a harness, but I didn’t trust it.
Visibly shaking, I made it to the top. I felt like throwing up as I crawled on top of the platform.
My friends were shouting cheers and instructions, but all I wanted to do was stop shaking and get my feet back on the earth.
My shakes became trembles. This STINKS. Why did I go first? Stupid pride.
I remember my peers and holler out, “Guys, I might cuss!”
Laughter and more shouts, “You’ve got it Shelly.” “Put your foot under your knee.” “Turn to your left and reach.”
I don’t cuss, but a loud “P A U S E !!” defiantly escapes my mouth.
I’m startled to realize it came from me as I look down (yeh -why did I look down?!)
Everyone is stumped at my abruptness; except my husband. He’s laughing his bu- – off.
He controls his laughter and shouts back, you can’t “PAUSE” in this one Shell. You’re okay.”
Despite my shaking, I attempt to regain a mental grip. I shout again to my friends. “Sorry guys, but… Can ya all not say anymore? My head is all messed up here.”
(Don’t you wish you could push some magical PAUSE button in life?)
We can’t stop the clock, but we can take a mental pause any time we want. And we should.
Sometimes it only takes seconds to mentally regroup. Other times it requires more. Occasionally you have to temporarily remove yourself from a situation or circumstance to gain a fresh perspective.
I did leap from the post that day successfully grabbing the rod, and I still don’t like heights.
I do, however, find myself continuing to use a silent PAUSE… a lot. It helps me remember to do a quick check with the Spirit of God.
It works. My thoughts shift gears. I become aware of God, and His perspective.
He’s really not so hard to hear. Though He’s God, high and lifted up, spiritual and invisible; He’s also a person; concerned with matters big and small. He’s both practical and spiritual.
In James we’re encouraged,
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” James 1:5
Next time you are in a bind, perhaps a little overwhelmed or ill-equipped (or precariously perched high up on a 2 x 2 platform) and could use clarity of mind, remember to PAUSE and sync in to the mind of Christ.