Monthly Archives: November, 2021

Hitting Pause by Josie Firstbrook LACMH

Eric Liddell, Olympic Gold Medalist runner, asked in the movie Chariots of Fire, “And where does the power come from to see the race to its end? From within.” His answer relates to the Christian belief that Christ in us gives us the strength to finish. Comparing faith to a race is one way to think of our lives. The discipline and hard work of athletes are necessary to finish the race in life. In addition, athletes recognize their limitations, so we too must live within the boundaries of our lives. Taking a break for refreshment and renewal is one way we live in the knowledge of our limits. Interestingly, this type of respite is included in training for athletes.
Pause, interrupt, recess, break, interlude, temporary stop. Pauses come in music (called a rest), in court cases (a recess), in plays (intermission), at school (recess). Even books come with pauses -pages between chapters, margins instead of filling in every available space. Machines also have limitations- operating in a duty cycle, meaning the percentage of time it can safely operate. The idea of coming away to rest after a busy day is mentioned by Jesus to his disciples (Mark 6:31). In addition, for years, farmers also have been leaving some fields fallow to allow them to be restored. Yet, in life we want to live without stopping, without a pause. Scheduling every minute, working without a pause may overheat a motor or burn it out. It’s that feeling of not being able to get your motor to idle. For me, nature, being outside, takes me down a notch. I like the part in Psalm 23- “He makes me lie down in green pastures” I know I have to be made to do this- it doesn’t come naturally.
The pandemic was probably the biggest pause most of us have experienced in our lifetimes. Locked down and quarantined- what did we do? Maybe there was more time for reading and reflecting, maybe we felt socially isolated. After the lockdown ended, we might have been influenced to try and squeeze in everything we had missed in the previous year and a half. People may experience a feeling of never having enough- not enough time with family, not enough travelling experiences, not enough time for work we have missed. We might feel discontent and look for refreshment and help in the wrong places, drinking more, sleeping, smoking or other outlets. Hopefully, taking time for pausing will help us turn to healthier outlets. One resource that might help is John Eldredge’s pause app Whatever our resting mechanism, it does our body and spirit good to have a rest.

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