It’s good to pause! When we pause, we admit that there is more going on in life than what we can perceive. It’s also a clear indicator of our conscious or unconscious admission that what is going on beyond our scope of reality might be more important than what we are doing. This may be a hard thing to admit but moving beyond our inclinations can only lead to our growth.
This time of year always gives me reason to pause. Even though it is good to do from time to time, I’m not speaking of an elongated hiatus where I totally remove myself from my usual daily routine. I’m talking about those brief instances that can sometimes ambush me and suddenly I become still, silent, and reverent as I realize how much I have been given. To completely recognize a gift is the only way to fully receive a gift.
These special moments can happen when we least expect them. When they do, we should not ignore or brush them off, but make every effort to cherish them. These instances go beyond mere emotion and sentiment. They are a gift in and of themselves and they always point us towards one thing in our lives that is very important to have...a THANKFUL HEART.
Pause is a catalyst for personal growth. Why? There could be a lot of speculation on this but may I suggest a couple of very simple reasons...
First, to pause takes time. It’s good to have a break in proceedings. Making plans and setting goals is great and we should do this no matter how old we are. But they have a tendency to put us in a mindset of constant control and seem to always monopolize our time. When we give up our need to be in control, suddenly there is an opportunity for growth that goes beyond the limitations of our plans or goals. Think about it, if our world is only as big as our own ambitions then we are really living in a very small world!
Second, when we pause it always takes our attention and focus off of ourselves. This is paramount to personal growth. We have a tendency to think that we must concentrate on ourselves in order to grow. But the opposite is true. We must think less about ourselves in order to really develop in a healthy way. It can only be a good thing to give consideration to the gifts that have been given to us throughout our lives in which we had little to zero input or choice. Even better, if we focus on others then we can begin to aspire to greater hopes for ourselves as individuals and the more we'll realize how to be truly thankful for the gifts in our lives.
Simply put, pause is a catalyst for growth because it’s a catalyst for thanksgiving. We all have reason(s) to pause each and every day! It’s just that Thanksgiving offers and affords us an extra special privilege to do so. It’s like that old Elvis song my dad used to play throughout the house on Saturday mornings, “Every time I hear a new born baby cry, or touch a leaf, or see the sky, then I know why…”
So, I encourage you to find reason(s) to pause this Thanksgiving. Yes, just be still! Admit that there is more going on in life than what you perceive. Look around and even beyond yourself and you’ll begin to hear, see, and experience things differently. Every time you realize you're awake and breathing; every time you hug a child; eat a good meal with family; love and are loved; have a conversation with a friend; laugh or cry; receive or give; every time you pause to realize you're alive and have a purpose in this world, you’ll know why you have a reason to be thankful.
We must not forget, everything is always more than it seems...