I saw in a movie recently where a music teacher instructed their student to “play the pauses”. The indication is that the pauses in between the notes are just as important as the notes themselves. In everyday life, just like in music, the down times are just as important, if not more important than the events in our lives that keep us busy.
In my life I have identified these three areas where I try to ‘play the pauses’.
- Family – I love going to professional sports games (GO REDS!), Amusement Parks (King’s Island is the best!), my kids games (PRF Panthers RULE!), and many other events with my family. However, some of the best conversations and interactions are in the Jeep, at dinner, or at bedtime while I check on (make sure the boogie man is not there) the kids. The time in between all the EVENTS of life are often the most memorable. I think it is imperative to focus on these times and make the most of them.
- Prayer – I don’t know about you, but I often find myself reciting these long, rambling narrative prayers. I just recite the laundry list of items that are bothering me. In order to get the guidance that I need from the Lord, I have to make a conscience decision to pause. I want to make sure I give the Lord the opportunity to speak to me. If all I do is talk, I can’t listen. The Bible says, “Be still, and know that I am God:” Psalm 46:10a. I need to be still and listen to the message that the Lord has for me.
- Socially – It has often been said that there is a reason we have two ears and only one mouth. I want to create meaningful relationships with the people I meet. I have to be willing to listen twice as much as I talk. I want to be in a position to help and teach others. It is true that people don’t care how much I know, until they know how much I care. If all I do is talk and not listen, it might show how much I care, but only about MYSELF.