Gives Me Pause

Posted by Rick Bates on

The phrase “gives me pause” is a common English idiom people say when something causes them to need a moment to stop and consider something carefully. If you “give pause” you might either be hesitating and even reflecting about something important. For example, “I’d love to buy a house, but the fact that I’d have to go into debt for years gives me pause.” Or, there are many of us who would love to travel right now, but the risks that come along with it and the reality of being quarantined might give us pause.

This idiom is used in reference to the significance of outside factors that require us to think more fully on weighty, or perhaps even frustrating, matters. It emphasises that pausing is an important part of decision-making. Simply pausing can be really helpful when making major life choices or purchases. Pausing can also refresh our thinking process. Coca-Cola has successfully used this for decades with their famous slogan that says drinking a can of Coke is “the pause that refreshes”.

While taking time to pause is beneficial, many of us neglect this principle – and this is especially true in our spiritual lives. We neglect pausing and connecting with God in refreshing ways. Too often we believe our schedules are too frantic to push pause to get in touch with God. While studying the Bible, doing devotions, meditating on Scripture, and intentional times of prayer are all worthy disciplines in our Christian discipleship, these should never be replaced for simply pausing to connect with God. As Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God.”

I have found it helpful to pause regularly at three specific times in the day. Once is in the morning while on my way to work, then another at around lunchtime, and finally in the evening. These occasions are not lengthy – they last only around five minutes. Yet, they help me clear my cluttered mind, simply connect with God and become open to anything He wants to share. It amazes me how refreshing these can be and what these precious minutes can give to me.

Here is a simple fact you should take some time to pause and consider: Our amazing God, who is often beyond our comprehension, loves us personally and has allowed us the gracious privilege of knowing His son Jesus Christ and having His Spirit’s presence. That simple fact gives me pause.


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