The Practice of Pausing
“The Westerner, excited to be on a safari for the first time, force-marched his native guides through the jungle on a wild search for game, any game at all. The party made good speed the first two days but on the third morning, when it was time to start, the hunter found all the guides sitting on their haunches looking very solemn and making no preparation to leave. ‘What are they doing?’ the man asked. ‘Why aren’t we moving on?’ ‘They are waiting,' the chief guide explained. ‘They cannot move farther until their souls catch up with their bodies.’”
It seems to me that sometimes we push ourselves so hard and so long (to get ahead, to succeed, to achieve, to get that job, etc.) that we forget that our spirits need to learn the practice of pause.
Much like the guides in our story, our bodies and our souls need to catch up with each other! This time of the year in the northern hemisphere, we are in-between many events, seasons, and all sorts of activities of life. For example: we are, at the college/university level, between final exams and commencement; liturgically, we are between the Easter season and Ordinary Time; we are between winter’s cool winds and summer’s warm breezes; and some people are between jobs, or meetings, or appointments. All this between time teaches us that we need to practice pausing and gathering up the wisdom that is within each present moment.
So let us become aware this week to practice pausing, honoring the wisdom within that moment, and allowing our souls to catch up with us!
Let us pray: May we leave the past to God's mercy, the present to God's love, and the future to God's providence. Amen.
(Consider reading: The Power of Pause by Terry Hershey)