One Minute Pause

 Sometimes it feels like the world is going crazy.

“It seems like you’re working two full-time jobs,” my wife commented the other night.  As a full-time dad and a full-time ministry leader, there’s a lot on my plate. I wake up at 6:00 AM to get my prayer time and workout in, and then I devote my day to moving and growing God’s Kingdom, followed by an evening with my wife and two little ones.  I slump into bed absolutely roasted, usually asleep before my head hits the pillow. Some days it feels like things are moving at 100 miles an hour. 

Besides my ministry and family life, it seems the world around us is going at a faster pace too.  With advancing technology, we can barely keep up with all the texts, emails and social media alerts.  We are able like never before to keep up with everyone's lives and are able to hear about all of the latest traumatic events all over the world in a matter of seconds.  

A few months ago I discovered New York Times Bestselling author John Eldredge’s One Minute Pause beautifully explained in his new book, Get Your Life Back.  It has been a huge blessing in my life and a new habit that I have come to love. 

All you need to do is do nothing for one minute.  Who doesn't have sixty seconds? Even on my busiest days with my 6-month-old son and 2-year-old daughter, I can always carve out sixty seconds to just pause.  Whether I step into a quiet room, do it in my car, do it at my desk, I just rest and give everything over to God.  

It doesn’t take all the problems away, but it reminds me that I’m not God and I can give everything over to him.  It brings just enough release to bring me back to what matters most: God, my family, and the ones in need who I am called to minister to. 

Along with the book, John Eldredge has also provided a wonderfully simple app called One Minute Pause which can be found on the Apple Store and Google Play (it can also be found at pauseapp.com).  In the app, John leads you through a one, three, five or ten-minute pause - giving you words to help you let everything go.  It also keeps track of how many pauses you’ve taken and if you wish to make it a daily habit there is a streak tracker.

There is something monastic about this simple practice.  This pause habit reminds me of the ancient Christian idea of recollection.  The monastics of old wanted to be aware of and remain in God’s presence and so they often practiced recollection (concentration of soul on the presence of God).  Imagine how much more in our age we need to turn away from the noise and become aware of his presence.  

This doesn’t mean you need to feel his presence or understand it intellectually, although it’s a blessing when we do.  It’s enough to just rest and believe that he is with you, that he sees you, knows you and loves you. You’ll also find the more you practice it, the easier it gets.

 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matt. 11:28-30)

Who can’t pause for just sixty seconds?