I don’t know about you, but my life feels like I just move from one crisis to the next. Oh sure, some moments would probably better be defined as irritating interruptions to my schedule than a full on crisis. But still. It. Never. Stops.
So I pray for a break. Just one week where nothing goes wrong. Just one weekend in a cabin, in the woods, alone, with no alarm clock. Just one evening where I don’t have to cook dinner or drive anyone anywhere or clean up gold glitter fingernail polish off of every single surface in my bathroom (yes, I’m serious). It’s always something.
This week I’ve said at least a dozen times that all I want is a moment. Just a moment to breathe. A selah. A holy pause in the midst of all of the crazy. And guess what? Life was determined that I wouldn’t get my moment this week. But sometimes you just have to push back on life. Sometimes you just have to set responsibility to the side for a moment. Sometimes you just have to TAKE a break. Because if you wait for a break to be handed to you on a silver platter, well, I’m afraid you’ll be waiting an awfully long time.
Today I decided to stop. It’s raining. I love rain. It’s 72 degrees in July in Arkansas (that’s just crazy y’all). And I’ve done nothing but go full steam ahead this week. So I stopped. I’m sitting in my favorite coffee shop next to the window. It’s distracting me. The rain forming rivers on the pane of glass. The leaves on the holly hedges drip, drip, dripping. The rain dancing in the puddle. I’ve paused at least a hundred times in the last hour as my attention has been drawn out the window. And each time I look outside I hear a gentle whisper “selah”. So I pause. I let myself enjoy the simple pleasure of rain in July. Then I hear a “ding” in my headphones and my attention is brought back to my laptop and the new email in my inbox.
Back and forth. Work, pause. Stare at the laptop, stare at the rain.
As I stare I whisper, not with words but with my heart, Father, rain on me. Refreshed my dry and parched soul. Send your living water to dance in me.
“Selah” is a musical term to denote a pause or an interruption in the music. It’s a holy hush before the next line of the song. A breath. A time where the baton in the conductor’s hands sits still and every eye rests upon him waiting for the signal to continue their song. Selah lasts just a moment. It is not the silence between songs. It is not the absence of song. It is the breath within the song. The musician’s eyes follows the music on the stand until the selah. Then she looks up and watches. Watches the hand that leads the song. Her eyes re-position. Her heart stills. Her hand waits on his direction. And as he lowers the baton, she continues her song.
Today, in the midst of emails and phone calls and kids who need my attention and grocery shopping and piles of laundry and, and, and…. Right here in the middle of it all I chose to pause and look at the One who’s orchestrating my life. I choose to fix my gaze on Him. I choose to lock eyes with Him and breathe.