One of the benefits of catch-up TV or DVDs is that you can press the pause button. If you need the loo, fancy a cup of tea, or just need to check with your wife what on earth is happening in this TV programme, you can do that. And you can pick up where you left off. Pausing gives you chance to refresh and get some perspective.
The English word ‘pause’ probably comes from the Latin pausa, (to stop), but it also finds its roots in the Greek word katapausis. That’s the word the New Testament uses for ‘rest’ – as in the Sabbath rest. It’s also the word Jesus used when he invited people to himself:
“Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28 NIV)
I like to think of Sundays as a bit like pressing the pause button on the TV. There’s lots of information and action crowding our minds and senses, and it can be difficult to know what’s going on. Press the pause button and we have a chance of stopping to make sense of it. (It’s also why sleep is so important, because whilst we’re resting that’s when the brain does most of its processing).
Just having a day of rest is really important. But heading to church to worship God, hear his word, pray, and have fellowship with other Christians gives us chance to process our lives and the world around us. And to understand more of God’s character and his will. We can gain new insight and a fresh perspective we can’t get by ourselves.
And when we’re ready to press the ‘start’ button again we’re more ready than we might have been otherwise to face the challenges and opportunities that come our way.
Question for reflection: Do you need to pause more often than you do at present before heading to the next thing?