Tuesday, May 11

Pause On Purpose

This year I really struggled with choosing my theme. I am not sure why exactly, but after finally choosing it I wonder if I was just fighting God in the process. My theme is Pause on Purpose. I have been challenged over the last year, in particular, to slow down in various ways. A few years back Barb challenged us to practice really observing the Sabbath. While I have always agreed that this was a good idea, having it actually play out in my life was harder to imagine. Well, early this year I listened to Max Lucado’s CD, Cure for the Common Life, on a trip up north and my theme hit me square between the eyes. The book itself is about finding what God has gifted you with individually and living within that strength and purpose. Chapter 12 is titled “Pause on Purpose” and this particular chapter hit home.

I would like to share a short passage from this chapter.

. . .do you sense a disconnect between your design and daily duties? Are you neglecting your strengths? God may want you to leave your Capernaum, but you’re staying. Or he may want you to stay and you are leaving. How can you know unless you mute the crowd and meet with Jesus in a deserted place?

“Deserted” need not mean desolate, just quiet. Simply a place to which you, like Jesus, depart. “Now when it was day, He departed” (Luke 4:42) “Depart” presupposes a decision on the part of Jesus. “I need to get away. To think. To ponder. To rechart my course.” He determined the time, selected the place. With resolve, he pressed the pause button on his life.

Your escape requires equal determination. Hell hates to see you stop! Richard Foster hit the mark when he wrote: “In contemporary society our Adversary majors in three things; noise, hurry, and crowds. If he can keep us engaged in ‘muchness’ and manyness,’ he will rest satisfied. Psychiatrist C.G. Jung once remarked, “’Hurry is not of the Devil; it is the Devil.”

The devil implants taximeters in our brains. We hear the relentless tick, tick, tick telling us to hurry, hurry, hurry, time is money. . .resulting in this roaring blur called the human race.

But Jesus stands against the tide, countering the crescendo with these words: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28). Follow the example of Jesus, who “often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed” (Luke 5:16).

It is so simple yet so hard to actually play out in my life. I need to choose to pause on purpose on a regular basis to make sure that my life is in alignment with God’s will. God does not yell over the roar of our lives, we need to slow down and listen to His whisper. Now I will be the first to admit that this is really hard to do. I am a doer, a Martha. I define a successful day as one where I have crossed everything off my to-do list and added a few more. While in general I do not think this is bad, I just have realized that we each need to intentionally take the time to pause. . .on purpose.

I have not perfected this by any means, but I am slowly, intentionally pausing on purpose to refuel. . . to take the time to reconnect with the vine. I am also attempting to help my girls do this by having reading and prayer time as a family every night before bedtime. I want to teach them the reason behind why we are taking the time to read about Jesus and why we need to talk with Him daily, why we need to "pause on purpose." It is a start, and I am so excited to see what God does in my life this year through this theme.

1 comment:

Katy said...

Betsy, that is a great theme. Good food for thought!