I am not a naturally calm person. I am not known for sitting still for hours just, “being.” Oh, no. No, I came out of the womb six weeks early and haven’t stopped since. For as far back as I can remember I have been going a million miles a minute down a hall, usually twirling as I go. At times it is my greatest strength, yet at other times it is my biggest weakness. In any case, for better or for worse, I was created this way for a purpose. So, in my current season of questions and uncertainty I yearn for a sign – a map. I haven’t known what to do next – so I wait…impatiently. In the midst of this waiting I was reading a blog post about why a couple named their daughter, selah and I became intrigued. I began to research the meaning of the word selah.
Biblically the meaning of the word selah has been highly debated and questioned. In the end, however, everything I read took it to mean one of two things: “to pause,” and/or “to praise.”
…”to pause”… …to stop and be still…
The word’s affect on me was immediate. I suddenly felt God whispering to me to just be still – to pause. To pause and praise Him in the pause. Selah. He was practically begging me to just be still and know that He was there.
I am a worry wart. I over-think and over-analyze and make myself sick with “what-ifs.” I constantly need to know the next step and to know the future and be able to plan accordingly. It’s part of what has made this season of waiting so hard – I am terrible at waiting. I have been going crazy trying to figure out what is next for me; where to go and what to do. Then, suddenly, this one word changed everything. Selah: to pause/to praise. My mad dash came to a screeching halt and I suddenly got it. Something clicked. God was telling me exactly what I needed to do next. Pause. I don’t need to know everything right now. I just need to pause. To sit still for five minutes and shut my brain off and just listen and praise Him. Stop my worry-warting and my over-thinking, and let Him handle it.
I don’t think it is a coincidence that the word selah has two possible meanings. Nor do I think it is meant to be either one or the other. I truly believe God meant for it to express both. Not to pause or to praise, but to pause AND to praise. God usually does His most important work in our “waiting seasons.”
Thus, I have decided I want to relish in this pause. I want to soak it up like the sun in summer and just lie back in a chair and feel the breeze on my face. I want to relish in the little moments and I want to appreciate how beautiful the waiting seasons really are. Most of all I want to praise Him in the midst of my waiting. For I know all too soon the waiting will be over and life will happen and I will miss the pause. The in-between. Waiting isn’t always easy. In fact it’s usually rather hard. But if I let Him, He will use this waiting to teach me and prepare me for the path ahead.