The Pause that Refreshes

A din of banter and laughter filled the family room when we gathered for Sunday dinner. Mom shooed us out of the kitchen while she prepared the meal, and we lazed in front of a blaring television to argue about Jerry Jones and the Cowboys’ latest loss.

A moment came when everyone stopped talking at once and took a collective pause. Someone muted the TV for a commercial. Only the wisp of a breeze rattling screens on the open windows filled the air.

After two minutes, Dad rose from the couch. He wiggled his eyebrows and flashed a dastardly Dan grin. “It’s too quiet around here. Think I’ll go cause an argument with your mother.”

Before the TV commercial ended, we heard Mom screech from the kitchen, “Weldon, if you don’t get out of here and leave me alone, you can cook dinner yourself.” Our quiet moment had passed.

While I certainly snicker at the (possible) humor in that true story, I also sigh. No wonder I rush to fill empty voids, quiet moments, or pauses in conversation. Especially pauses in life. Spaces of time in which I’m running in place, stalled from forward motion, and waiting. Drumming my fingers on the table, racing my motor and anxious to speed down the runway to my next adventure.

Yet, pauses in life can refresh if I let them:

1. They give me time to catch my breath and absorb the moment that just ended. Like an intermission at a concert or play. An interlude with time to refresh before the next act.

2. Pauses can also signal transition. They serve as the parenthesis between one chapter of life closing and another beginning.

3. Or they can give me time to recharge and gain strength for the next leg of my journey.

Coca Cola coined a slogan in 1929 that rings true today, “The Pause that Refreshes.” God gifts us with these pauses to refresh us. When Elijah ran for his life from Jezebel, God gave His prophet a pause and food to carry on. He paused the apostle Paul in his tracks on the road to Damascus, giving him time to reflect on that experience and his call to preach. Jesus told his disciples to go and wait to receive the power of the Holy Spirit before they spread the gospel.

Today, God gifts us still with pauses. And I find that refreshing.

“I have had enough, Lord, ” he [Elijah] said. Take my life…” Then he lay down and slept under the broom tree. But as he was sleeping, an angel touched him and told him, Get up and eat!” … So he ate and drank and lay down again. Then the angel of the Lord came again and touched him and said, “Get up and eat some more, or the journey ahead will be too much for you.” (1 Kings 19:4-7, NLT)

Your turn. What is your perspective on “The Pause that Refreshes?” Leave your comments or stories for all of us to grow from your experience.

©2012 Gloria Ashby. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail.


About Gloria Ashby

I'm a writer, speaker and teacher. I live with my husband in the DFW area, and close to our daughter and her family.
This entry was posted in Gifts from God, Managing Change and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The Pause that Refreshes

  1. emmalmoore says:

    Last week I had a pause for a few days. It was the best thing that happened for me. I was spiraling out of control. I didn’t do a couple things I planned and I was the better for it. Today I’m not interested in getting crazy busy any more.

  2. Joy Thomas says:

    I went back to the US for a few weeks after living in a little German village for almost a year. I was struck by the busy-ness. It seemed the goal was to do as much as possible in the shortest amount of time. Activity followed activity. Fast food. Get to the movie just before it starts, and don’t linger afterward. From the perspective of village life, it looked crazy. I told my German friends about it when I returned. I said every culture must have some craziness about it, but I haven’t figured out what it is in my village. “Yes,” my friend replied, “we don’t try to do as much as we can – but whatever we do must be done correctly.” Everyone laughed, and I realized this is true. Satan keeps us bound up in some attitude – perfectionism, materialism, striving to keep up with others – some attitude that keeps us from taking the time to be grateful, peaceful or loving. We need to guard against it. The Holy Spirit is our guide, not the dictates of culture and conformism.

    • Gloria Ashby says:

      A great perspective, Joy. We are less likely to find God in the hectic pace of activity than we are in the quiet moments. This accomplishment-oriented girl is learning to appreciate the pauses God gives us.

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