There’s Power in the Pause

“Mama, can you pause the show so I don’t miss it while I go to the bathroom?”

“Sure buddy.” I say as I push the button with the railroad track-lines on the remote.

It doesn’t matter that my son has seen this movie a hundred times, that he finishes the song that was being sung when we paused the movie while he goes to bathroom, his sweet voice flowing out from under the bathroom door like light through a crack. It doesn’t matter that he wouldn’t have missed a thing because the scene is firmly embossed on his memory. We still had to pause.

His little sister is standing with her nose practically touching the TV screen saying, “Uh-Oh,” over and over again at the movie that she thinks is broken. Why else would the screen be frozen? I tell her it’s not broken, only paused, and we wait for her brother to come back. He rushes back in proud as can be that he buttoned his own pants and we play the movie, the one that no one missed out on because we pushed pause.

I watch them take in the story, moving between playing and watching in the way that kids do and think about the importance of that pause button. I couldn’t stop thinking about the way that my son worded the request. Could you pause it so I won’t miss anything?

It hit me then, the power of the pause. The power that comes when we stop and rest and take it all in.

It’s hard to do. It’s hard to find the moments where we can push that button and watch the life that’s unfolding in front of us, watch the scenes that we’re living in still frames taking in every detail. It’s so hard that most days, we don’t do it. We just let the movie play while we go, go, go until we look up and the credits are rolling and we’ve missed out.

We don’t do it because in our minds, it’s not ok. We think that if we stop and rest, allow our lives to pause each day, someone will look at us and say, “Uh-Oh,” like a toddler looking at a frozen frame on the TV. It might appear that we aren’t accomplishing what we need to, that our lives aren’t put together, that we can’t make the cut, so we keep plugging along and our mind and hearts and bodies and souls drag on behind us, exhausted and confused by the life that’s passing us by.

We live our lives like we don’t control the remote, like we’re at a movie theater that won’t stop the movie for us when we need a bathroom break. Like we can’t pause and enjoy the fullness of the story we’re living.

Here’s the thing though ladies. You do control the remote. It’s up high where nobody can reach it but you and you can decide to push pause, to give yourself the break you need so you don’t miss a thing.

What if we took time every day to find that button in our heart that causes us to be still and find rest? The button that allows everything to slow down long enough for us to appreciate what we have, to debrief the plot that we’re living, to appreciate the contribution of every character, word, or detail.

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What if we paused so we don’t miss it?

There’s power in the pause. The power to notice and process and rest. The power that comes when we let ourselves stop opens our eyes and refreshes our souls and ultimately gives birth to appreciation and joy.

“Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.” Psalm 116: 7 NIV

Give yourself permission to push pause today. Engage in your story by taking time to slow down and notice all that’s happening, all that’s being written on your heart, all that’s playing out in the lives of your family and friends. Pause so you don’t miss it. Pause so you can appreciate it. Pause so you can find the power that rest breathes.