Stop intentionally. Move purposefully.

I’ve been busy. You have, too. We mention it frequently, talk about it occasionally. And we keep going. As a result, we struggle to think reflectively, to sit quietly. Momentum keeps us moving until we stop. Inertia makes it hard to start moving again.

I could be wrong, but underlying the moving and the immobility are fear. We’re afraid to stop. We’re afraid to start.

reflectingIn the best times, there is a margin in our hearts, a breathing space that gives us the passion to stop intentionally, to move with purpose. But “these days”, the breathing space feels full of fumes. We take a deep breath and gag on the pain in the lives around us, on the screen in front of us. And so we fidget until we fall.

“For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation,” is how David starts writing. It’s a statement from a Sabbath school lesson. It’s a thing we say when we are asked what we believe.

But David quickly turns to the people attacking him, pleading with them to stop, attacking the unfairness of their verbal assaults.

And then the text includes the untranslated word, “selah.” Pause. Take a break and catch your breath. Turn away from the screen.

When he starts writing again, he echoes the starting words. Almost. But he turns them from an abstract affirmation into a message to his own heart.

“For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence; for my hope is from him.”

And from this new beginning to the journal entry, the words change. David will again talk about others, but from the perspective of God. God’s stability, God’s refuge. God’s endurance.

As you write your day, if your thoughts go sideways in fear, take a walk. When you come back, start talking to yourself with David’s words:

“For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence; for my hope is from him.”


About Jon Swanson

Social media chaplain. Author of "Lent For Non-Lent People" and "A Great Work: A Conversation With Nehemiah For People (Who Want To Be) Doing Great Works." Writer of I help people understand. Understand some of the Bible. Understand what Lent can be about. Understand what it means to follow.

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