The Moment Between the Bells

There is a moment between the bells that you realize you are more real then ever before but that your life has less meaning then you originally thought. You begin to understand that eternity is forever and this life is not. You see that the moments count as everything but your days mean nothing. These bells remind you that life is real but that it is perishing. You realize that nothing matters except that which is truth. Truth comes from God and you only get it by knowing Him.

The seven sacred pauses of the day take you to a place that has meaning and yet is void of any purpose outside of God.

Yes, I will write of the additional 5 pauses (I can’t believe I haven’t given you more then 2!!). But I had to take this moment to tell you that there is this time between coming to know Jesus as your only hope for salvation and the time of the entering of eternal life, it is called sanctification. It is here, in the process of sanctification where we become more like Christ. It is in this time that all pain is felt and all struggles seem as though they will go on for all eternity. It is the place of sweet peace and horrid struggle that can only be endured with the blanket of the Holy Spirit.

I pray that as you might take a moment and journey through the seven sacred pauses, or maybe just PAUSE, that you would come to first know Jesus, but then to know the brevity of life and how, although it is fleeting, every step you take means the world and yet has absolutely no meaning apart from bringing Glory to God.

How is it that my mundane life could bring any glory to the creator of all things?

I pray it be so Lord, I pray it be so.

Peace comes from pausing

The Seven Sacred Pauses bring a peace that passes all understanding.

If you just joined me here, take a moment to look back on the past posts to know what i’m talking about as we discuss my journey this month through Seven Sacred Pauses.

I have not hit all seven pauses in any of these last 5 days but I have paused enough and intentionally turned my heart to God enough, in the last few days, to know that peace comes from pausing.

PEACE
defined as: freedom from disturbance; quiet and tranquility.
In other words: calm, restfulness, peace and quiet, peacefulness, quiet, quietness.

Do you get the miracle of this peace? It is the first week of school, the first week of the month, busiest week at work, the first week of middle school volleyball, the first week back to swim team, and our dog brought fleas home from the beach. This week is not set up to be peaceful. It is set up to be tumultuous, distracting, busy, bustling, stressful and annoying. But yet there is peace. It’s because of the PAUSES, I’m certain.

The First Bell: Matins/Vigils: The Night Watch **** Midnight, 12 AM

The Second Bell: The Awakening Hour **** Dawn, 6 AM
I love my morning routine. Often I’m up before the bell rings. This is my favorite pause of the day!! I arise, turn my heart to God, set my mind on His word, let the dogs out, start the coffee (just got a new coffee pot by the way), feed the dogs, grab my coffee, sit on the couch and PAUSE.

This is a time to remember God’s goodness and begin the day in glory. You set the clock of your heart for dawn’s arrival. Taste the joy of being awake. God chose to give you breath today. REJOICE!

Read Psalms 19, 95 or 147.

Pray: This day is ALL Yours Jesus. Let my life be a living praise!

Focus on praise and resurrection, joy and delight.

The breezes at dawn have secrets to tell you; don’t go back to sleep. ~Jalaluddin Rumi

This is my LONGEST PAUSE and my most favorite. When the sun has risen, I shower and hit the road running, assured that peace will follow me and confident that the next bell will ring.

PEACE!

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The ringing of the bells

As I embark upon this journey of trying to marry the monastic lifestyle of prayer and mindfulness of God throughout the day, with a busy woman’s life, I am discovering my imperfections and the difficulties of discipline.   This call to take 7 Sacred Pauses throughout the day is a challenge but I did better on day two and will do better today.  Three out of the seven were taken on the fly but ya know what, the other 4 were true pauses and times of reflection and I had a little victory.  The benefits of this are sweet and internal and I will continue.

“At midnight I rise to give you thanks” Psalm 119:62                                                                  “Seven times a day I praise you” Psalm 119:164

The First Bell: Matins/Vigils: The Night Watch    ****     Midnight, 12 AM

Rarely am I up at midnight.  Sometimes I am up at 11pm.  Mostly I awake at sometime between 12am and 4am.  I have not taken courage to set the chimes to go off at 12 am.  Instead I go to sleep with this time of prayer on my mind and when I inevitably awaken in the wee hours, I take this first pause.

This time is used for waiting with purpose, patience, hope and love. 

“My soul years for you, O God, I keep vigil with you through the night”

During this pause we are called to deep prayer and interceding for the suffering, abandoned, oppressed and lonely.  I think about the homeless of our nation and picture them alone and cold and without.  I remember my blessed life, my provision and I am thankful. 

This pause is used to be vigilant: keeping careful watch for possible danger or difficulties.  It is in this time that I pray for a covering over my home and ask God to reveal the areas of danger in my life, both physical and spiritual.  I look for an alignment of my thoughts to God’s ways.  It is a time of deep listening.  There is silence, surrender and trust.

Psalm 42, 63, 119:145-152 are the words that guide this time.

In the book Seven Sacred Pauses: Living Mindfully Through the Hours of the Day by  Macrina Wiederkehr, there are prayers and meditations and quotes, at the end of each chapter that can be used during these pauses.  They are beautiful and will be helpful when I am weak and need a focus for this time.

Last night I went to sleep thinking: For God alone my soul waits in silence Psalm 62:1

This morning I awoke awaiting and anticipating God’s presence. 

***The Second Bell:  The Awakening Hour:  6 AM…..coming up next.