The Seven Sacred Pauses
What's the Point?
The point of pausing seven times each day is to be more intimately God-aware, to reconnect with God as the day moves.
It begins, appropriately, with DAWN — a daily resurrection of hope based on the new mercies of God. So when I rise, as I put my feet on the floor and shake off sleep, I say the declaration for DAWN. I directly and personally communicate with my Heavenly Father and say:
"In Christ I am renewed. I embrace Your mercies for this day and with creation I arise and delight in You. I trust in Your grace to sustain me and Your truth to guide me. I walk by faith, not by sight, I am filled with joy, knowing I am Yours and You are mine. I live as a child of light. May Your face shine on me and may Your blessings fall on me, that the world may be covered in signs of Your love."
The next pause is MID-MORNING, around 10:30AM. No matter what day of the week it is (except for the Sabbath), I’m working at 10:30AM, doing my office job or home management. I pause and remind myself of the declaration that work is sacred ground, and review the scriptures with it:
"In Christ my work, the stuff of earth – vocation, relationship, and community – is sacred. I work fearlessly and lovingly with all my heart for You, knowing I have a Master in Heaven."
You’ll notice all the declarations begin with “In Christ.” That’s because all of this revolves around Him and His loving, sacrificial, pivotal work. This is personal. this is relational.
I pause again in the EARLY AFTERNOON to refresh myself in Christ, to refocus, to listen to what He’s saying about this day. I take the fourth pause at the END OF THE WORKDAY, around 5 PM, and transition from my workload to a more reflective view on life. Around 8:30PM I pause for the EXAMEN; at BEDTIME I pause to focus on prayer.
The final pause is in the NIGHT. Personally, I don’t set an alarm, but you certainly can. If and when I awaken in the dark, I pray this declaration:
"In Christ I hold hands with trust and surrender, lean into the still, quiet darkness, and grow wise. I pray for those in grim, fearful, godless places in the world, asking You for Your heart to be with them, Your hand to rescue them, Your face to shine upon them, and Your hope to be in them, for You are the God who sees. I hold firmly to the faith I profess."
Some people set phone alarms; others use these corresponding beads on the bracelets or key chains created by artisans in Jubilee, Haiti (point to each corresponding bead).
Why do this? What’s the point? Intimacy with our Heavenly Father. The Seven Sacred Pauses is a tool in your hands to draw near to God, to live closely and reflectively and increasingly in His Presence.
The point is not legalistic, perfunctory perfection. The point is intimacy with God through His Son Jesus.
For me, the Examen is the most intimate and most demanding pause. Watch our next post/video to see why, and visit the Examen tab on this site.