Stop and Think

by | 28 March 2020 | Encouragement

In this fast-paced world with so many demands we tend to be busy people. This has become so much a part of our modern culture that we seldom stop to reflect for very long. Living life without taking the time to reflect on what’s important and meaningful can lead us to feel more mechanical than human.

For example, how many people do you think notice the small patch of forest they might drive by on their way to work each morning? Of these, how many think about the fact that a forest is comprised of many individual trees? Even if we do notice the trees, we likely don’t notice that each tree has hundreds, perhaps thousands, of leaves clinging to it. If you look even closer, you’ll notice that each leaf has a network of thousands of tiny segments that take part in an amazing process known as photosynthesis.

We’re not suggesting that it’s important for each of us to become more knowledgeable about trees. The fact that we often pass by something that’s amazing without thinking about it simply illustrates that fact that there’s much more to life than we normally perceive. Since we tend to be so preoccupied with just getting by, our modern lifestyle makes it almost impossible for us to take notice of the things that surround us.

The recent Pandemic has changed things dramatically. Some, healthcare workers for example, are more busy than ever. But for many, the lockdowns associated with the COVID-19 virus have disrupted the normal routine to such a degree that one hardly knows what to do with the sudden, and forced, time off. This provides a great opportunity for many to stop and think.

If you’ve ever read any psalms in the Bible you may have noticed an odd word at the end of a paragraph. The word is, “Selah.” For example, Psalm 46 consists of three stanzas. Each one ends with the word Selah. This is an ancient way of telling the individual who happens to be singing or reading the psalm to stop for a moment and think about what was just stated. It’s like the author of the Psalm saying, “Don’t just move on. Take a minute to think about what the stanza you just read really means.” For example, Psalm 46: 1-3 starts like this:

God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah

The author is asking the reader to ponder the meaning of the words before moving on.

In the same way, any downtime in relation to the current Pandemic may provide a great opportunity for you and me to stop and reflect a bit. This is a great chance for us to think about where we are in life, were we hope to go from here, and what’s really meaningful to us. It also provides an opportunity for us to share with those we love what they mean to us. In other words, for those who have a bit more free time than normal due to the Pandemic, this might be a great “Selah” moment. It might also be a perfect time to reflect on what we actually have, and to be thankful.

Just as we might miss noticing the many small segments that make up a single leaf, there are probably many people in each of our lives whom we take for granted when we’re so busy with the normal everyday rush. Take a moment to be thankful for as many of these individuals you can think of, and consider letting them know what they mean to you.

If you have an opportunity to do so, please also consider praying for those suffering from the COVID-19 virus, the amazing healthcare professionals caring for them, and so many others who are working overtime in connection with the Pandemic.

There’s so much more to life than we normally see. This may be an excellent time to take a moment to notice the small things, and to reflect on what they mean to you.

Incidentally, many have found great comfort in reading all three parts of Psalm 46. You can do so if you like by clicking HERE.

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