Learning to Pause

A week ago I wrote about how I would be choosing to “pause “ more often this year as compared to years past and how “pause” would be my One Word for 2011.

Little did I know only a few days later nature, not health, would create the perfect “pause” situation for the entire metro Atlanta area and much of the Southeast.

The timing, situation, and scenario was perfect for me to implement my plan as snow and ice caused everything to slow down, or as in this case, grind to a standstill. As this photo indicates, nothing was moving, and despite managing a Subaru dealership (which has the best symmetrical all-wheel-drive system available), we were closed for one day and had limited schedules for most of the week to ensure the safety of our employees and customers with all the ice.

Photo credit: John Spink via ajc.com

As the snow started to fall and the ice accumulated, I was purposefully absent from the social media scene. Not as in a social media fast (something I had done once before), but by design with the hope to reconnect in the midst of an intentional disconnect. So other than a few “tweets” on Twitter and a couple “status update” on Facebook to let customers know about hours of operation and a Snow-Jam sale we were hosting, I was noticeably silent for a week.

In the midst of my pause, I found  few things that made me go “Hhmmm.”

We’re all concerned about “everyone else” when the roads are icy.  Doesn’t that mean we are all “everyone else”?  

 An email can reach someone, but a handwritten note will touch someone. 

 Internet access allows people to communicate.  Personal access allows people to connect.   

 Having a day with no agenda recharges your batteries.  Spending the day with someone you love and having no agenda recharges your soul.  

 Board games and card games from our youth are meant to be played all year round, not just on holidays.     

 Life doesn’t get in the way.  More often than not, we get in the way of life. 

 My words, if left undefined, unchecked, unexplained, can deliver a blow rather than make a point. 

 Being needed, even in the most trivial of ways, stirs something in me that I can’t quite explain but had let stay dormant far too long. 

  How do you expect someone to meet your expectations if you haven’t shared what they are?  

 A gas log fire can’t compare to real log fire. 

 Shoveling snow is something I didn’t enjoy as a child and don’t enjoy as an adult. 

 Full-service gas stations serve a purpose when the wind chill dips into the teens.

It’s still early, but I’m learning pausing requires more effort than I thought and it does not come not naturally. Pausing creates clarity, awareness, and understanding but I need to be more dedicated and disciplined in my efforts.

One thing is clear, when we slow down God shows up. Not because God wasn’t there all along, but because sometimes we’re all too busy to see what He wants to reveal to us.

Personally I can’t wait to see God reveals with each and every pause this year!

I love to hear some suggestions on when, where, and how you pause or plan to pause.

Do you turn off the radio and cellphone to or from work during your commute each day?

Do you allow allocate a few minutes after the kids go to bed in the evening but before you crash at night?

What distraction has become a habit that can wait till your pause is complete?

~Tom

trusting God period 

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As a three-time cancer survivor, I share my story of how leveraging my faith and trusting God period was the key to moving past the diagnosis and learning to live a life filled with purpose.

I'm blessed to be married to Shari and stepfather to her teenage sons, Michael and Matthew. I volunteer with North Point Ministries as a Renew Mentor and serve on the board of the One Thing Men's Ministry.

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