There comes a time in everyone's journey where you need to press pause. Not because you want to. But because it's the right thing to do.
I believe with all my heart that each and every one of us was created for more. Created to live out our God-given purpose. Created to live with courage in the face of the mundane and everydayness of life.
And yet, sometimes, God's timing is not ours. Sometimes, when we want to charge forward - God is saying wait. Not yet. Trust me to fulfill what I have placed in your heart.
To be honest, I don't know why. I can't tell you why some find their calling and live in it successfully from a young age. And for others, we struggle and we ponder and even when we know what we're supposed to do - those doors don't seem to open.
I'm tempted to give you an answer. You know, God has a reason for the pausing - whatever your pausing may look like. A new job. A prodigal you want to return home. A move. A relationship. But here's what I will say. In my own life, I've seen the pause is about more than getting me "ready". The pause is about refining my heart. God wants my heart more than He wants me to accomplish this thing or receive that gift.
Don't get me wrong - willfully pressing pause is hard work. It's the stuff of brave hearts. It takes trust that God won't forget what He's placed in your heart. It takes strength to let go of what you thought would be. It takes humility to let go of control of what now has become your dream and God's dream.
It takes submission to follow God on the detour of the pause.
While all of you are sleeping, I am up restless. Restless because I think God may be asking me to press pause when I want to keep playing. I want to pursue all that I set out to do. I'm afraid that pressing pause will mean He will forget my dream and His dreams for me. I'm afraid that pressing pause is a loss of control. I'm afraid that pressing pause is admitting defeat.
Pressing pause is an act of courage. A place where God calls us to be brave. We may not be exactly where we want to be, but we are exactly where He wants us to be. And being where He wants us to be is the best place to be.
My highest strength on the Strengthfinders assessment is futuristic. I like to plan ahead. I like to visualize what life will be like years from now. I like to strategize about how to get there. Pressing pause, somehow, seems to go against my nature.
It seems unnatural to not keep going - no matter what the cost.
And yet, sometimes, God's pause is in our best interest. It's in the pause that we learn that He is merciful and faithful and good. It's in the pause that we learn that we are not our work or our parenting or that relationship. Our value is based on being His child, not in accomplishing our plan.
It is in pressing pause that we learn to see our value in "being" and not doing. We discover how to love who we are and find rest in the preparation. It's in our willingness to press pause that we learn to take time for ourselves - to work on ourselves - to become who we need to be to move forward.
Mostly, the pause is about learning that life is about the journey - the journey of becoming - not about the destination. It's about learning that our calling is more about a message than a job or a place or a career. It's learning that we can be God's message anywhere while doing anything.
I don't know what your pause is, but mine is unexpected. Mine has drawn tears and disappointment and a challenge to be content with where I am at on the journey. And yet, as I write, I know that pauses - even the ones I didn't plan - are the ways that God gets me to slow down, listen to Him, and walk in reckless obedience. May you and I trust him enough to press pause when asked and trust Him with our futures.