In many games, players can call “time-out”, usually at the coach’s direction. The game stops. The clock stops. And the players can rest for a moment. A coach can describe the next play. In some sports, players can call “time-out” several times during the game.

We could imagine, I suppose, a coach who said “I’m not going call any time-outs. It’s a sign of weakness.” I can also imagine that coach being booed by fans. The time-out is part of the game. It helps everyone survive.

In some households and classroom, teachers and parents can call “time-out.” It’s a form of discipline. It gives the child an opportunity to stop and think. Ideally, the child thinks about the behaviour that happened immediately before the time-out and what might have been wrong about that behaviour. Often, there is a warning: “If you don’t stop that, you’re going to get a time-out.

In the case of sport, time-out is a positive act. In the case of parenting, time-out can have positive results, but at the moment it is a negative experience.

I’m telling you this because I had opportunity to explain it to a friend the other day. This person is pushing too hard, trapped by some illness, but driven by the fear that taking a “time-out” is something bad to do. it’s not. Calling a time-out can be part of the game. Taking time off to get well. Taking a break from travelling. Taking a sabbath once a week.

These aren’t punishment. And they aren’t quitting. No one accuses a coach who calls a strategic time-out “quitter.”

And no one will call you “quitter” either.

Go ahead. Call time-out.


5 thoughts on “Time-out

  1. joseph ruiz

    What a great picture Jon. Often a time-out is necessary because through fatigue, or lack of focus, or unexpected activities we need to pause to re-group to be reminded there is a plan here is where we need to adjust. I need to call more time-outs. Perhaps I need to hear my “coach” calling them 😉


  2. cjhinx

    Taking a sabbath is a chance to refuel, to connect with God, so we can have the energy to do what we were created to do. It is a piece so many are missing in their busy lives.


  3. Jennifer L

    Thanks Jon. Reading this confirmed my decision of last night to step back for a few weeks from an activity. I struggled with that decision, but you gave me the words to explain it. It’s just a time-out.


  4. David

    Dave s. I needed to hear this today recovery from minor surgery I had last week “I” figured 5 days and I be back at work can’t miss work they need me bla bla bla etc. well The doctors God reality said no you need three weeks what for ………..now I see it rest a time out a time for God. “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:”
    Ecclesiastes 3:1


  5. Pingback: time for a time-out. | 300 words a day

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