Stop the rush

Monastics have a practice called statio that means stopping one thing before beginning another.

Rather than rushing from one task to the next, pause for a moment and recognize the in-between times.

Before dialing the phone, think about the conversation and the person. After reading a book, pause and think back through what you learned and how you were moved. After watching TV, pause and ask what it contributed to your life. Before reading the Bible, pause and ask for a spirit of attention.

– Philip Yancy, Reaching for the Invisible God


Do you do pauses?

Or are you more familiar with rushes?

When Jesus was on earth, we don’t read of him flitting nervously from one unfinished task to another.

He listened. He taught. He gave his attention. He took time to finish each thing well. He practiced statio.

I don’t think people felt rushed in his presence.

Not back then. Nor right now.

Neither does he want me to rush in and out of his presence without my full attention. He wants me to enjoy our experiences together. Then take time to reflect on them later.

He has all the time in the world for me.

Do I for him?

* * *

revised from Start. Stop. Start.

23 thoughts on “Stop the rush

  1. Mia

    Dear Lisa
    This is one of the things that I had to learn when I became ill with Fm/CFS, to draw deep into the life of Jesus and to become still in His presence . I learned to draw deep from the well of grace from the one moment to the next and to wait on Him for everything. I am so concerned that the real Reason for Christmas has been lost in the shopping malls of the world.
    Blessings XX

  2. Beth

    It’s those moments when I do pause and invite His presence and Spirit to fill me up, Lisa, that get me through these crazy days of Christmas (and this year, disease). Oh, and I love Philip Yancey! He’s one of my all-time favorite authors who has expanded my perspective on many, many things! Merry Christmas to you, sweet friend!

  3. bluecottonmemory

    Learning how to pause – that is so important. Teaching my boys how to live in the pausing moments – they were really meant for God, weren’t they?! Learning not to rush – maybe that is one of the beautiful things in growing older!

  4. Joe Pote

    Lisa, your post reminds me of the “Selah” interspersed at various locatons within the Psalms. As explained to me, the term “selah” means “stop and think about it.” It is an intentional pause for reflection, before continuing.

    One of my daily household chores is feeding the animlas each evening and morning. I’ve come to look forward to this daily routine, simply because it is a time to pause and reflect. It is a time to stop and enjoy the beauty of God’s creation in a sunrise, sunset, or star-filled sky. It is a time to pay attention to each animal’s needs, and, in so doing, to appreciate their various personalities.

    Thank you, for the beautiful post!

    1. Lisa

      I thought about you yesterday, Joe, as I was feeding my dog. 🙂 I’m going to try to use that time now like you do, as a “pause and reflect” moment. Thanks, friend!

  5. Dionne

    Sometimes as a mom of young children…I have trouble flitting like a hummingbird from one task or chore to the task. I am great at multitasking. However, I have felt those times when I realized I missed some moments that could have more enjoyable had I just paused. I am in the habit of pausing with the Lord in the morning, but I desire to not miss the great gift of time that he gives beyond the morning. Thank you for you wonderful thoughts and inspiring me. A great reminder especially during this busy holiday season.

  6. Michelle DeRusha

    Wow, seriously, what a concept: statio.

    I do not pause. My activities and thoughts all blend one into the next. The only time I ever stop is on Sundays, thanks to celebrating and appreciating the Sabbath, a practice that I found really challenging at first but that I have grown into.

    Thank you for your faithful participating in #HearItUseIt, Lisa, and for always leaving such thoughtful, genuine comments. I so appreciate you, friend, and am so grateful for your companionship out here in the blogosphere. Christmas blessings to you and your loved ones. xxoo.

  7. Kel Rohlf

    Lisa- I love this concept! And I want to practice it more often…that is the cry of my soul to take time to calmly pause between activities…I remember reading once that those who trust in God won’t be in a hurry!
    Good food for the soul. Thanks-Kel

  8. tcavey

    Short and powerful post. Very thought provoking.

    Sometimes I find myself rushing through my prayers instead of really focusing on who I am talking to. I wouldn’t want my spouse to treat me that way, so why would I ever treat God like I’ve more important things to do than spend time with Him?
    I may not always have an hour to pray, but the time I do have I need to really tune into God and make sure it’s quality time.

  9. Jerralea

    I hate rushing around … and yet it seems to happen to me all the time. Too much of it and I begin to feel anxious.

    I like the idea of pausing before starting another activity. I’m going to try it.

  10. Beverley

    Reminds me of when i was working and even though very busy whenever i was doing something i made sure i was there in that moment. I would often say ‘one pair of hands, one thing at once is all i can do’ and yet now i am at home all i can do is one thing at once and lots of statio or pauses.

  11. Amy Jung

    Good reminder ….and timely. I just had a conversation with a good friend about this. I shared this verse with her yesterday:
    Cease striving and know that I am God.
    -Psalm 46:10
    Thank you…

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