At the beginning of the year, one of my favorite preachers took a sabbatical. His church called it a season of Selah, a reference to a musical notation in the book of Psalms that likely means to pause and ponder. In musical terms, think of several measures of rest.
As millions across the world are being told to shelter in place, I believe God is giving us all a period of Selah. He is giving us time to think about what is happening around us, and allowing us precious moments to spend with the people we love the most.
And though I can recognize it for what it is, I know I’m failing to give it the honor it’s due. Sure, every appointment on my calendar is canceled. I have no choice but to be still. Everything is closed. Pausing is not the problem.
So we are left with the pondering, and that is where I drop the ball. Pondering isn’t reading my five minute devotional in the morning, or celebrating Bishop Jakes’ thirty second prayer on national television. In this social media age, we try so hard to fit everything into attention grabbing sound bytes. That’s not how Selah works. Pondering takes time. It takes attention. It takes patience, and as a whole, our society is running low on all three.
Pastor Howard-John Wesley is ending his sabbatical early so that he can shepherd his congregation through this global pandemic. He says he’s excited to come back, and I know many of his followers (including me) will be glad to see him back in the pulpit. Unfortunately, I don’t see this period of ‘rest’ ending any time soon for me. It is my hope that I get what I need out of this season, and in turn, that God gets what he wants out of me.