Matters Of Faith: Just On Pause

Rev. J_Loren RussellJUST ON PAUSE!


By Reverend J. Loren Russell, BA, MDiv



Have you ever thought to pause during the course of your day just to reflect on the day? Do you ever pause and take a few minutes just to reflect on your dreams and personal aspirations? In my devotional time this week, I ran across a daily devotional written by Iyanla Vanzant in her book, Until Today where she promotes the idea of taking time out of our busy lives to intentionally pause and use that time to check up on ourselves. As I read her piece, I realized that we are reluctant, if not averse to pausing. In our minds, we see pausing as a permanent stop instead of a momentary period of reflection. We feel like we are being unproductive and irresponsible; like we are wasting precious time. But pausing isn’t permanent. It’s not a stop sign or a red traffic light. Pausing is more like a yellow traffic light or a yield sign which requires you to slow down and carefully observe what is going on around you before moving forward. The law requires you to stop or slow your roll or come to a stop at traffic lights and stop or yield signs, but there is no requirement for personal reflection, introspection, or just taking time to pause. We are more often like the Energizer Bunny who keeps going and going and going. Self-determined pausing is very difficult for most, that’s why it can be so very rewarding.


When we pause, we literally give ourselves an opportunity to get into the presence of God. God speaks in still, quiet tones that require stillness. He’s not often found in the whirlwinds of life or the rage of the storm, but is found in that still quiet voice that speaks to us when everything is quiet and serene. Pausing is our opportunity to look introspectively and retrospectively, to reassess priorities, reestablish and rehabilitate relationships (especially with God), recommit to our present, boldly proclaim our future, and refresh our souls, all while in the majestic presence of Almighty God. I’m reminded of what Moses told the Children of Israel as they stood at the precipice of the Red Sea with Pharaoh’s army closing in. It was in the most challenging situation, the most turbulent part of the storm, the scariest predicament that the people had experienced that Moses says to them, “…,Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more forever” (Exodus 14:13 KJV).


Did you see that? Stand still! Don’t move! Keep silent! Pause! It’s in the midst of chaos that The Lord calls us to pause. Not when things are going well or when the harvest is ripe, but when all seems lost and all hell is breaking loose, He say, “Pause!”


I encourage you today to take a moment, pause, stand still, reflect, reassess, review, recommit, refresh, reinvigorate, renew, and then reward yourself for taking time to feed yourself and to silently commune with God. Don’t wait for everything to go wrong to pause. Do it now! Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord! And know, you’re not stopping; you’re just on pause.


Be Blessed!


Rev. J. Loren Russell, BS, MDiv is President/CEO of The JLR Company, and an associate minister at both Goodwill and Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx.

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