Monday, March 19, 2012

Lent Day 23: Thankful for pauses

Jesus took time to catch his breath. In his steady focus on doing his Father's work, he moved through countryside and towns. We read that he ate, drank, exercised (lots of walking!), had conversations, and times of prayer just like everyone else.

"Aren't there 12 hours in a day?" he asked a group of followers. That makes me shake my head at the imbalance we perpetuate, trying to do 16-18 hours of work before crashing into bed. No one rewards us for killing ourselves and it sets a bad example, as though God demands a killing pace and unending drugery. If Jesus could bring salvation to humanity in a 12-hour day, what makes us think we need more time?

I love Jesus' prayer pauses, the times for worship, and the simplicity of his meetings with others.

Music and speech need pauses to make sense. Life is no different. Having done all God asks, why can't we rest in his provisions?

In less than 24 hours, I defend my dissertation. I'm thinking of all that is undone and what I'd like to re-memorize. Soon I'll be listening to and speaking with my committee. God is able to bless this day and tomorrow and I'd appreciate your prayers.

Let's also pray that the beautiful pauses in Christ's life would be part of our daily rhythms. Let's invite short times of reflection as well as hours set aside for study and prayer. God is good and will help us find the balance that restores and renews.

Read more:
*I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done. I spread out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land.

Answer me quickly, O LORD; my spirit fails. Do not hide your face from me or I will be like those who go down to the pit.

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. Rescue me from my enemies, O LORD, for I hide myself in you. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground. Psalm 143:5-10 NIV


  1. Absolutely true, dear one. We should pause continuously. Not only to reflect on God but to rest ourselves for awhile. I'm a Psychology major and I noticed you've been talking about re-memorizing. My studies are revealing that you should study a bit and rest a bit, and that long drawn out periods of study won't yield better memorizing. Also, don't watch tv, or listen to music. That's called "interruption" and will stop the mental flow. I will indeed send a prayer up for you. You'll do fine. You love the Lord.

    1. Thanks for that advice. I'm now learning a new language. 5 years ago I defended the dissertation, got through, and now we are living in Indonesia where the degree helps define our introductions. Mysterious - the ways of God. Hope all is well with you.