Where's the Pause Button?

On our way home from church Sunday night, Jason and I were listening to some music through the CD player in the car.  At one point, we began a conversation and, not wanting to miss the music, Jason reached to press the pause button.  Only he couldn't find it. "Where's the pause button?" he asked.  I looked and couldn't find it either.  We ended up shutting the radio off so we could have our discussion without missing out on our music.

Where's the pause button?  That question has resonated with me ever since.  Have you ever asked that question concerning your life?  Where's the pause button?  Things are happening too fast.  You need time to think, to plan, to breathe.  So many obligations.  So much stress.  Every day is like a merry-go-round spinning faster and faster until you find yourself crying, "Stop!  I want off!!!!"

I'll admit, I've felt that way from time to time.  In the midst of a busy week or chaotic schedule, I've found myself looking for the pause button.  After all, who could possibly keep up this pace?  It's exhausting.  It's frustrating.  And it's detrimental to our health.  But at the same time, who has time to take a break?  There's so much to do and so little time.  Stopping means losing momentum and precious seconds which add into minutes which add into hours and so on.  And so, we see only two choices:  (1) Let it roll or (2) Stop the music.  Neither is a good option.

With option one, we continue living like we're superheroes--faster, stronger, better.  We keep giving until we have nothing left to give, until we're a used-up shell of a life that used to be.  We burn-out and find ourselves in a place where we can't even help ourselves, let alone others.

Option two is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.  We give up.  Maybe on our jobs or our families.  And sometimes, on life.  How many people have ended their lives when it could have been avoided if they had simply been able to find the pause button?  But they couldn't.  They were miserable and desperate, unable to see another way out.  So, they took matters into their own hands and ended it all.  If we're not careful, we could find ourselves in the same boat.

Exhaustion leads to faulty thinking and rash decisions.  Fatigue tells us there's only one way out of our hamster wheel of to-dos and obligations.  Weariness is a poor friend and an even worse counselor.  Before you find yourself in the company of this trio (or it could be that you already are), take my advice:  press the pause button.  It's there.  You merely have to be willing to use it.  I assure you the world won't fall apart if you take a few minutes to rest, but you will certainly fall apart if you don't.  We were not made to keep going like the Energizer bunny.  The Bible has a lot to say about rest, and it's always in a positive sense.  Even God rested, for crying out loud!  What makes us think we don't need to?

Where's the pause button?  It can be found in the quiet time alone with God.  You can find it in an afternoon nap or a few minutes of pleasure reading.  Life is busy and hectic, but sometimes we need a break.  And typically we'll find we can accomplish more when we're not so stressed and tired.  So, stop running for a little while.  Take a breath.  Take a nap.  Take some time for yourself.  Press that pause button.  You'll be glad you did.

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. - Matthew 11:28