A Sacred Pause

A Sacred Pause

My son Mark has always been a thoughtful young man. He feels things deeply. With four kids and a pastor husband, our life was always busy with ball games, church activities, school assignments and family time. Mark would feel a bit overwhelmed at times and would come to me and say, “Mom, I’m feeling all crowded up.” There are times in my life when I get that same “crowded up” feeling, like I want to just push my way out of this crowded world and take a big deep breath! I bet you feel that way too at times. The Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) record the life of Jesus, and wow, was he busy. The crowds were constantly pressing in, asking for everything from food to miracles. How did he respond? Did he have coping strategies? Mark 1:35 tells us he got up early, went to a quiet place and spent time with His father.

“If you look at what is and isn’t working in your life, what’s not working is often because of blind spots or unconscious patterns and habits,” says Dennis Buttimer, M.Ed, CEAP, RYT, CHC, a life and wellness coach at Cancer Wellness at Piedmont. “When you’re still, you’ll start to discern these habits and blind spots.”[1] He goes on to say, “Brain scans show that many people’s brains are overactive and hardly ever at rest these days. If the brain is hardly ever at rest, it cannot restore and regenerate, and therefore, you can’t think straight.”

He recommends taking a few minutes every day for “sacred pauses”. I like that. Rest is sacred. Why sacred? Because it’s hard and holy. Hard to find the time, hard to find the trust that the world will go on with God at the helm and not you. Holy because God commands us to rest. (Exodus 20:8). He knows how hard life is.

Studies prove many spiritual, emotional, and mental benefits of taking a pause:

  • Clarity – Pausing to clear your mind is a great way to avoid confusion and helps with memory.
  • Ability to process emotions – Taking a moment to pause and ask yourself, “Am I really hungry or just tired?” This practice may keep overeating at bay.
  • Better decision making – It’s said that most people make an average of 35,000 decisions a day and at least 200 decisions regarding food. Taking a “sacred pause” can make us smarter and healthier.
  • Soul mending – The 23rd Psalm tells us “He leads me beside still waters, he restores my soul.” NIV. God can mend the things of this world that tear at our souls.

And physical benefits too, including relaxation and better breathing capacity. That’s that big deep breath!

Are you willing to take a few minutes in your day for “sacred pauses?’ What strategies and tips work for you? I’m working on mine but would love to know yours.

Vicki Heath is a certified fitness instructor for the American Council on Exercise, and a certified life coach. Vicki is author of the books, My First Place, Don’t Quit Get Fit and Wellness Journey of a Lifetime . Vicki is passionate about Christ and has a desire to help others understand the value of caring for their bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit.

[1] https://www.piedmont.org/living-real-change/the-benefits-of-silence-and-solitude

  1. Lord, remind me to do the Sacred Pause when I feel the desire to eat something

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    Casting my cares on the One who loves me so…

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    Great article and love the simple way your son described how he was feeling. Such valuable info in the article. Thanks Vicki

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    My husband died two weeks ago. Dealing with all the financial affairs that need to be settled is “tearing at my soul.” It helps that there’s a reminder on my refrigerator from God, one of those sayings you might see on a billboard: “I will be handling all the problems of today. I won’t need your help. Have a good day.” I have to keep reminding myself “I can do all things through Christ…”

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    Thanks for this reminder and encouragement Vicki. Coloring, while lifting those who come to mind in prayer, helps me pause and refresh.

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    Thank you Vicki for the thought and phrase, a Sacred Pause. One thing that trips me up is from the Serenity Prayer, Accepting the things I cannot change. Your message reminds me to seek a sacred pause and ask for the Lord’s help.

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    Wonderful post, Vicki. And I love what your son Mark said about feeling all crowded up! That’s one to remember, as it’s often the way I feel as well.

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