Click here for audio version: Strategic Pauses
Some years ago I worked for a landscaping and tree removal company in East Texas. We stayed busy and everyday was full of adventure and variety. I loved it. My normal day was full of creative design of landscapes or working with chainsaws in trees. I was used to the challenge and need for skill and caution or making something beautiful that I could be proud of. Then one day the boss threw me a curve. He dropped me off at a home with a large yard, handed me a rake and said, “today you are going to rake these leaves and I’ll come back to pick you up later.”
As my boss drove away I began to grumble about this assignment of just mindlessly raking leaves. I began to complain about this gross waste of talent and skill. My murmuring was interrupted by the familiar voice of The Lord in my mind. This is what He said, ” Don’t despise the ‘Selah’ moments I orchestrate in your life.” I immediately remembered this word “selah” from my reading of the Psalms. I knew that this was used to indicate a pause for reflection or effect as the Psalmist wrote. Then I realized that my day had suddenly become one of those times that did not require all of my focus to be on avoiding injury or damaging a clients yard. Today was free of all that unless I did something stupid with the rake. I was free of danger and able to relax in my mind. I learned that day to embrace rather than question the strategic pauses in my schedule and use them to reflect on all that God was doing or saying to me. Of all my time working for that company the day I remember most was the day I spent raking leaves and enjoying some alone time with The Lord.
Whenever I find my schedule interrupted by a pause I remember that day and the words The Lord lovingly said to me, “Don’t despise the ‘Selah’ moments I orchestrate in your life.” If you are in a pause that you don’t understand in your life or ministry, choose to avoid grumbling, complaining and questioning. Instead look to The Lord and trust that there is often divine purpose found in the Strategic Pauses of life! SELAH!