As I read Shawn Cramer’s blog from last week, along with the concept of pause in Not Doing, I couldn’t help but reflect on the concept of pausing from a broader coaching perspective. Have you ever wished you could hit the reset button? I am sure that I am not the only individual that has desired a break from the constant crazy aspects of life no matter how brief it may be. We live in a culture encompassed by noise. Volumes of studies have been done on the effects of constant noise on the human body. There is no escaping the noise of traffic, dogs barking, airplanes overhead, or the low hum of electronics. Combining that with the vast number of voices beckoning for our attention and time, the need to periodically hit pause becomes obvious. The ability to pause and reset in today’s world is a valid concern.
Selah is an interesting word used in scripture. It is a word of mystery. Depending on where you look and what you read the definition is widely debated. It’s meaning is only a best guess. The true meaning is unknown. It is found only 74 times in the Bible, 71 times in Psalms and 3 times in Habakkuk. Scholars have debated and given many definitions including, it being a form of suspension of music, an interlude or a pause. The Septuagint translates is as intermission. It appears to be a word that calls the reader to take a moment and think about what was said, to pause and ponder, to refocus one’s perspective, to lift up something for a period of time.
In Not Doing Steven D’Souza and Diana Renner discuss the importance of pausing. Of all the definitions they use the most intriguing is “open stillness.” “Pausing allows new stimuli to enter the creative process, to prompt another idea. It is a chance to step off the iterative track of logical decisions. It frees us from the concrete and reintroduces abstraction. It can also be the chance to transform what we been working on through connections not previously made.” Sometimes hitting the pause button, taking the posture of “open stillness” can be a lifesaving act, a chance to find peace amidst turmoil. Pausing can become a moment of clarity and rebirth. It is often within that gap of time, when movement stops, and life is being pondered that God whispers our name. Yet, in contrast to taking a time to pause, can be a moment of hesitancy. Within the idea of hesitancy lies a level of apprehension and unwillingness. In my experience hesitancy is often a result of uncertainty and fear or self doubt. Hesitancy can eliminate opportunities and blind us to possibility. Hesitancy can also be a sign and an invitation to pause.
Jesus often saw the need to pause and ponder. “And in the early morning, while it was still dark, He arose and went out and departed to a lonely place, and was praying there.”(Mark 1:35) As I look at the life and sayings of Jesus I wonder if in many ways they are not an invitation to pause and ponder? “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole word and forfeit his soul?”(Mark 8:36) Selah! “With men it is impossible, but not with God: for all things are possible with God.”(Mark 10:27) Selah! “Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these you did not do it to me.” Selah! Could Jesus be the eternal Selah, the constant invitation to pause and ponder? How many opportunities do we have daily to just take a moment to pause and ponder? What are we missing out on when we blow by those opportunities? What is the cost to us and others when we refuse to pause and ponder? It is during the moment of pause that our ears yearn for answers.
 www.christianity.com/wiki/christian terms/what-does-selah-mean-in-the-bible.html
 Steven D’Souza and Diana Renner, Not Doing: The Art of Effortless Action, (London: LID Publishing, 2018), 121
 Steven D’Souza and Diana Renner, 123-24