The Great Pause

“Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to advice.”
– Proverbs 12:15 (NRSV)

Recently, and very much in error, I was confronted with a pride-shattering, ego-deflating, and self-esteem-busting realization. Due to the nature of the situation, I cannot divulge what exactly was revealed, but I can share that in all its unpleasantness, it has offered several opportunities for me to grow as a professional and as a person. The largest piece of growth has come as I have asked those I respect for their input and suggestions on how I can move forward. I have received validating nods and intelligent insight for which I am most grateful. I have also received cautionary advice and stern warnings. While I was not thrilled with those pieces of information, I was grateful for them as well.

The thing about all this is that the “fool” in me wanted to barrel forward when the original insult was displayed so that I wouldn’t have to carry any anger or resentment around inside of me. The fool wanted to yell and scream and get revenge. And, in attempting to do so, that is exactly what I would have been – a fool. (My knee-jerk reaction to most things has very rarely been anything other than foolish, so why would this situation be any different?) I am grateful today that I no longer feel the incessant need to react immediately when I am angered. I am grateful to have discovered the great pause.

In pausing before responding, I give myself the opportunity to really know what I am feeling about a situation. I also allow myself time to open my mind and heart to the wisdom of others who may be able to share a point of view with me that I never would have thought of on my own. In the great pause, my anger has the chance to settle, so that the energy of it can be used to assist me with courage rather than harm me with fear. In the great pause, I not only listen to advice, but I also take it to God in prayer to discover what the next best step is for me. In that pause, I can wait with an open heart for the inspiration to set in, for God to show me the way.

As I grow older and experience more of life, there is one thing I know for certain – and that is that when I am confronted or put on the spot, I don’t know much about what is best for me. I need time to think things through and ask for help. What a wonderful awareness this has been!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s