Thursday, November 5, 2015

pause

"We need to find God, and He cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence."

-Mother Teresa


There are always four billion jillion things to do.
Sometimes five.
I'm alive to be in a relationship that will never end; an eternal friendship. What item on my to-do list could top "spend time with the God you were created to be with?"

Since landing in Hong Kong five months ago, God has done some remodeling in my heart. Here's one big renovation project He's been working on: tearing down the cluttered, hectic, rat-infested room called "busy running around and striving." I never liked that room anyway.
In it's place, He's planting flowers, creating a garden called, "pause and listen to Me."
My heart is becoming a nicer place.

1. throughout the day pausing
It seems to me that God wants our days to be made of pauses. Minute-long pauses that we take in the car, grocery shopping, cooking dinner, doing life. I've been taking moments to make my mind stop the 900-mile per hour racing. Then I turn it towards the Big Beautiful Being Who is patiently waiting for me to give Him some space. 
He wants us to think about Him. When we give Him pauses throughout our days, He's able to bring in peace, love for our neighbors, joy, and everything else good He's got in His Hands. Give Him space to bring in good stuff!

2. talking to God pausing
Instead of rushing into prayers, rattling off to God all the things that are popping into my mind as I talk, I'm doing this new thing where I wait first. In silence. Sort of a big deal for me. And I'm thoroughly enjoying it. When we wait before we pray, we can get our minds turned towards the One we're praying to and if we're still long enough, we'll give Him time to turn our attention to what His attention is turned towards. This makes for better praying.

3. conversation pausing
When someone asks me a question, especially a serious sort of question, I don't have to spill out the first words that pop into my mind. I can take a minute and think about what the answer is, and then take another minute to organize the words. People may think it's weird and say, "Did you hear me?" but when you give them a quality answer, they won't mind the odd pause.

4. long pausing with God
He wants me to be still before Him for as long of a time as I'll give Him. Incorporated into my time with Him each day is this new thing that I'm calling, "awesome time of pausing." I just sit still. I shut off my mental to-do list, I exit out of all the open tabs in my mind, I silence my phone, and I think about God.

A lot of us have too much:
too much food,
too much stuff,
too much going on in our minds,
too much to do.

Pauses help clear out some of that mental clutter, which I'm thinking will then help us clear out the other kind of clutter. I'm finding myself wanting to have a ginormous garage sale in the U.S. and getting rid of 80% of my stuff, only eat as much food as I need, and say "no" more often to things that take up my time. And that's no joke. Something about taking pauses makes me want to de-clutter every other part of my life. Pray for me.

"Be still and know that I am God,"
is what God told us in Psalm 46:10. He knows that in order to let Him show us Who He is, we need to be still and let Him talk. He wants to take over our minds with peace and fill our hearts with His Love for us. Try a pause today.
You'll like it, I think.

The 4 million jillion things will still be there after the pause.

p.s. God brought me a friend in HK Whom He's using to teach me a lot about Himself, and she's the teacher behind the "pause lesson." So thanks to God for bringing me such a teacher and thanks to her for listening to Him. #ThankYouGodforKelleyJeanCraft