We live in a time where everything seems to be done at such a fast pace. I don’t know if it is a sign of my old age, but I just wish some things would slow down a bit (not a major league baseball game – that is the exception). I hear young people talk, and they sometimes talk so fast that I cannot process their words quick enough to understand what they are saying to me. I drive on the highway, and have people fly by me like I am going backwards, and it worries me. I watch how often I head to the microwave to quickly “cook” something to eat, and I think of my grandmother putting a pot of ingredients on the stove as I was leaving for school in the morning, for supper that night.
I listen to some preachers today talk so fast that it is almost impossible to keep up with them. Verses are spewed out so quickly that I don’t even have time to look them up, let alone get a chance to read them for myself, and they are on to the next ten verses. I believe one of the issues is that we feel that we have so much information to share that is of utmost importance, that we feel we must cram it all into the allotted time we have to give it. I wonder what would happen if a preacher would actually use the tool of the “pause” while they were preaching?
Today I was reading in the book of Exodus, and I saw a scriptural pause. Following the sin of the Israelites of making and worshipping the golden calf, Moses stood before God to beg for mercy. The Bible says; “And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, ‘Oh this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold. Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin – ; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written” (Exodus 32:31-32).
Moses paused when asking for mercy from God for his people, Israel. I believe this pause was significant. I believe it shows the depth of concern he had for the situation he was facing. Part of him was asking for mercy that he knew was undeserved; and part of him knew the righteous standard that God expected His people to follow. Moses was in a place where there were no words to describe what he was feeling. He paused, allowing his mind time to wrap itself around what he was asking. Sometimes I think we would do well to pause when we are talking to God … when we are preaching … when we are speaking to our children … or when we are getting ready to answer an important question. I know that God knew exactly what the “–” meant! He understands our pauses as well. Pause and let God step into your “–” times today.