How to include rest even on your busiest days.
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The word “Selah” appears 74 times in the bible, mostly in the Psalms. We usually don’t notice it. We skip right over it because most of us don’t understanding why it is even there. Selah was a word usually put at a place in the Psalms where we were meant to pause and meditate on what we had just read (or sung).
Selah is a lot like a beautiful sky we don’t even see because of the busyness of our lives. It is suppose to be like a stop sign in our reading or a rest note in a song. It’s when the singing pauses and only the instrumental music continues or when we pause at a stop sign to make sure it’s safe to continue.
Selah = a moment for rest.
I recently read an article about runners in a race. Those who drank a lot of water before the race, but none during the race, really struggled to complete the race. Those who ran the race, but only drank when they got thirsty, also had difficulty finishing. But those who stopped at the drink stations whenever one came up, regardless of whether they were thirsty or not, completed the race easier and even had strength leftover.
Selah is like a drink station. We need it to run the race of our daily life. We need to pause, think, and rest even when we don’t think we need to. We need to slow down and rest a minute and say a quick prayer for God’s presence and help even when we think we’ve got this thing under control. Those small moments of resting are like taking some water from a drink station in our daily race. We can focus on God’s faithfulness, offer a prayer of thankfulness or a desperate cry for help. We can reflect on a bible verse we stuck in our pocket or sing a song in our head, or notice a beautiful bird.
Selah is a pause, a moment to wait upon the Lord.
Just like a runner in a race who isn’t thirsty, but stops to take a small drink along the race, we need to stop and take a drink from the Lord to refresh us and to remind us we are not doing this life alone. God wants us to invite him in to share our struggles, our work, all of our day.
We Selah not when we’re totally exhausted or one day a week, or a few weeks a year. We need to Selah at various moments during our day before our body and soul tells us we need it. Then we will gain new strength and run and not be weary (Isaiah 40:31).
We wouldn’t think of running a race without water along the path, or listening to a song that has continual words but no rests for musical interludes. Why would we do life any differently? Maybe Selah is what you need during your day to enjoy it better and give you strength to carry on.
My mind is always thinking of the next thing I need to do, so sometimes I just write “Selah” on my wrist to remind me to slow down. I’m learning to use this word as a tool to help me remember to pause and rest even if it’s just a moment.
You can run the race in your own strength and skip the drink stations, but why would you? God is holding his hand out offering you a cool drink. He didn’t say you wouldn’t have to run the race, he just said he would help you finish it. Selah.