I have conflicted feelings about technology. When it works the way I expect, I see it as a valuable tool that makes life easier. However, when it has glitches or requires skills beyond what I have, I throw my hands up in frustration and rant about the way it is taking over our society.
One aspect of technology that I embrace with enthusiasm is the “pause” button. Whether it’s for halting a video temporarily to take notes or pausing a movie for a bathroom break, I love having that kind of control. The action stops until I start it again.
I’ve been thinking about God’s view on having “pause” buttons in life. Genesis 2:1-3 records the first instance of this when God finishes the work of creation:
“Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.”
God chose to rest even though He never grows tired or weary. I like to think He did this as an example for us to follow. Resting is meant to be a regular part of our lives. However, for many of us living in modern times, being still seems nearly impossible. Although the world spins on its axis at the same rate it always has, the pace of life seems to grow faster and faster.
Scheduling time to push life’s pause button helps us to be rejuvenated and to keep our priorities in order. I’m always amazed by how my energy and enthusiasm rebound after I’ve rested. For me, spending time with people and pouring into them gives me great fulfillment. However, if I don’t allow margin in my schedule for time alone and time with God, I become depleted and lose the joy that comes from being with others. I have nothing left to offer because I haven’t taken time to get filled up by God.
Conversely, when I spend too much time working alone, I also feel drained. Writing a Bible study or blog flows easily when I’m rested and aligned with God. However, when I’m struggling for an idea or pushing myself to meet a self-imposed deadline, the flow of ideas dries up quickly. Then, it’s time to push away from the computer and ask God to re-energize me. When I let my brain rest and stop trying to figure something out, God brings me exactly what I need.
For many of us, learning to be still takes discipline. Sometimes it’s easier to continue running on the hamster wheel instead of risking the jump off. When I’m stuck in a holding pattern of busyness, God whispers to me softly:
“He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 46:10)
I like the NET translation of this verse too:
“He says, ‘Stop your striving and recognize that I am God! I will be exalted over the nations! I will be exalted over the earth!’”
So often our striving and busyness are like taskmasters relentlessly spurring us on. Being still helps us remember who God is. It reminds us He holds all the power. Pausing allows us to step back and evaluate what we’re doing to make sure it fits with God’s plan and our priorities. Being still causes us to relinquish the illusion of control and to gain a fresh perspective as God rejuvenates our bodies, minds and spirits.
How about pushing the pause button right now? Give yourself three minutes and twenty-four seconds to stop striving as you listen to Kari Jobe’s song “Be Still.” Listen with your eyes closed and let the truth of the words sink into your mind. If you’re feeling weary, I pray you’ll find refreshment for your soul.