Church Multiplication
Missions Mobilization

Unhurried Pause in the Presence of God

by Dave Manske, Director for Church Multiplication and Missions Mobilization

An interesting pair of car commercials aired this year - one for the Cadillac ELR (“Poolside”) and the other by Ford (“Upside: Anything is possible”). “Poolside” flaunts the workaholic American culture and excess, while “Upside” parodies the competitor’s video with an appeal to being more “green” and holistic. Both call our American obsessive imbalance of work and achievement into question.

Our busy-ness can hurriedly draw us away from our creator. This can result in ominous burnout and attribute to depression…or worse. Recently, the use of prescription antidepressants among women has increased 400%. Alcohol abuse and dependance on sleep aids are on the rise throughout the American culture. Obviously, chasing the “American dream” or the churchy-equivalent in ministry, is taking us further and further away from what God imagined when He knit us together in our mothers’ wombs!

Rebekah Lyons has recently published a book Freefall to Fly, which she presents in a Qideas video. In her battle against depression, she has found that her highest forms of support have been meaningful, ongoing relationships with other women. As we steer away from anxiety, Rebekah reminds us to “find out who we are in God’s mind.”

Ajith Fernando, in his book The Jesus Driven Ministry, calls the reader back to the “daily office” of prayer. He reminds us that prayer can serve as a “preventative to burnout”. Unhurried times with God enhance our sense of security in Him (Psalm 46:1-11). Unhurried times with God “open our hearts to God’s healing comfort.” We also are empowered by the Spirit to truly be conduits of love, encouraging others as the Spirit flows through us. All possible because we have paused…making unhurried times with God part of our daily rhythm.

Peter and Geri Scazzero call us to healthy observance of sabbath and the classic disciplines of silence (escaping from noise and sounds) and solitude (being alone, without human contact) as fundamental to emotionally healthy spirituality. The goal is to establish a pattern, a rhythm, of regular remembrance of God. This is living in the increasing awareness and attentiveness to the presence of God in our daily lives.

Skye Jethani is an author, pastor, dad and husband in ministry in Chicago and beyond. In a Moody Radio interview, Jethani talks about “Why Rest Matters”. He also has an article in a recent edition of Leadership Magazine entitled, “The Silence Between The Notes.” In both, he explores the theology of rest as essential to redeem the theology of work. Jethani calls us to practice the “daily office” and establish a rhythm of prayer. The idea is that we create space in our lives to hear God. We need this “pause” for meaningful communion with God, but also so we can truly relish moments of enjoyment and life itself. The “silence between the [musical] notes” also permits us to be fully present with God, with other people…and fully present when we are at rest.

Personally, I find the ancient “Prayer of Examen” (following the reflection established by St. Ignatius Loyola) to be a helpful way to “pace myself” throughout the day. It helps me to periodically pause and refocus daily.

Embracing the unhurried pause in the presence of God…restores the soul!
“O God, you are my God! I long for you! My soul thirsts for you, my flesh yearns for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water…my soul pursues you; your right hand upholds me…”

As you pray…intercede for our church planters and IWs to live in the “unhurried presence of God!

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