“Think before you speak.” Such a simple admonition to be mindful with our words is easier said than done — not merely because we are hasty or lack an attentive spirit, but because we’re not accustomed to thinking about our words at all. We’re accustomed to using our words.
That may not sound like a significant difference, but using our words is second-nature while thinking about our words is an infrequent exercise. When we learn new languages and new vocabulary, we pause to think about each word carefully — to intentionally relate the new words to our lives and to our existing vocabulary. When we use familiar words, on the other hand, they tend to unfold, flow, speak, write, type by unconscious processes; we don’t pause to. consider. every. word. in. every. sentence.
But imagine if you did pause, not only to think about what you’re trying to communicate, but to consider the words themselves as you use them. Imagine if you paused to consider the words you take for granted in your faith life: words of scripture, hymns, prayer, worship. Imagine the sacred encounter you might experience in such a pause.
My newest book, Sacred Pause: A Creative Retreat for the Word-Weary Christian, is a beautiful (if unexpected) devotional experience that invites you to think about words and, in doing so, to experience sacred pauses that refresh your faith.
+ Sacred Pause is for those whose faith has been running a little dry.
+ Sacred Pause is for those who enjoy creative spiritual practices.
+ Sacred Pause is for those who are seeking a Living Spirit amid dusty old Thee’s and Thou’s.
+ Sacred Pause is for those who have been hurt by the words of the church but still hope for a redeeming outlook on the religion they long to love.
+ Sacred Pause is for those who tweet during worship, post the occasional #SelfieSunday, and instagram liturgical art.
+ Sacred Pause is for those who love beautiful coffee table books. (That’s right, this devotional book is pretty enough for your living room table!)
+ Sacred Pause is for those who are inclined to treat themselves to a Christmas present. 😀
+ Sacred Pause is for lovers of words and lovers of liturgy (no matter high or low), for those who are convinced that it matters how we articulate our faith.
+ Sacred Pause is for preachers and church leaders interested in simple methods for enlivening worship.
+ Sacred Pause is for all and none of the above; it’s a deceptively light-hearted book with a deeply refreshing approach to faith.
Sacred Pause: A Creative Retreat for the Word-Weary Christian will be released from Paraclete Press in mid-December. Check it out, and let me know what you think!