Selah, my friends

The word Selah appears 74 times in the Old Testament.  It's exact meaning is unknown but two common definitions are:

  • pause and think of that,
  • a form of underlining in preparation for what comes next.  

I love both of those definitions.  I think they go hand in hand.  Having run the grueling marathon of the end of school year and the days grown warm and long, my heart whispers - Selah.  

Selah, let's stop, just stop and think of that... think of the school year that has ended, think of the ways my girls have sprouted up and grown up, think of how my new job going, how my family is doing, how my marriage is fairing... yes, yes, yes... all of it.  I want to just stop and think of that.  

Selah, let's stop, and prepare for what comes next.  Something is always on the horizon, changes, opportunities, challenges, a pause to prepare for them mentally, relationally, and most importantly spiritually is a gift a believe God wants us to have.  He is ready to whisper encouragement, comfort, and guidance for the coming season if only we are willing to stop and listen.  

My heart has been whispering Selah not just for me, but for Pete and the girls too. I want them to be able to push a pause button on life, a pause to think, and a pause to prepare, a pause to hear from God and rest their, frankly, weary selves. 

We've been blessed this week by treasured friends who have invited us into a week long Selah with them.  A week on the lake with friends and family is either the epitome of Selah, or a peek at heaven , or maybe both.  Our days are unstructured and unplanned.  We have soaked up sun, and sleep, and good books.  The girls have fished, and swam, and gone on parentless kayak and paddle board adventures.  

But Selah takes work, or at least its a choice made with effort.  It has shown me why there is actually a word for STOP, or pause, or whatever the author meant.  As a people we are not wired to stop easily.  The laws of physics demand that an object in motion, stays in motion, and that law applies to people too.  When Selah was written in the psalms, it was an instruction, because pausing doesn't just happen, it is something we have to choose.  We have to choose to stop working and block some time out on our calendar.  It might just be a Saturday that we choose to let the grass go long so we can take the kids fishing for the day. It might mean a weekend when we let the house stay dirty another week, while we pack up the car and go camping or to the beach.  Or maybe it's a whole week, where we choose to block out our work calendars, decide to let the VM's and emails pile up, and we just Selah.  We just stop and we let our kids stop too.  

As the summer days grow longer and warmer, I pray for your family that you will take God up on the idea of Selah. That you will just pause, and think and prepare for what comes next.

Selah, my friends.