Please Pause

Walking on a quiet Sunday morning down the road into a school zone, I smile with a knowing recognition at a makeshift announcement. I take a picture of the sign in the absence of cars and parents on a weekend. The sign marks the carpool line on the grounds of the local middle school going through reconstruction. Remembering all too well the days when it seemed that a pause was near impossible amid schedules, I recall the places to be, tasks to be done, and the frenzy-harried pace of life. That’s when I see the fine print. “Thank you!” By adhering to caution, the pause gives space to look, see, and act in the best interest of everyone involved – construction workers, children, bus drivers, teachers, and crossing guards. Pausing opens me up to be grateful.

But moving from pausing to gratitude doesn’t come naturally for me. I have to sit in a place for a bit longer to recognize all that is gift – the gift of being a parent, the gift of a car in which to wait in line, and a child who has made it to middle school and now for with grandchildren, the gift of hearing laughter and receiving unsolicited hugs (at least for a bit longer). But even without children, the pause gives opportunity to remember what is most important in life. By slowing down, and taking time to breathe, my eyes clear to see that which brings beauty, refreshment, hope. Yes, life goes too quickly, and it holds its own set of difficulties, and we have the invitation to pause.

Whatever road you may be traveling, whether waiting in a long line or rushing to the next location, may you find the “please pause here” a reminder that we can receive gratitude for the pause and be grateful for whatever situation we might be encountering at this moment.

By Mary Pandiani
Executive Director
Selah Center

About Mary Pandiani

Mary Pandiani, D.Min, serves as Selah’s Executive Director, leading the community and organization through its current transition period into future possibilities. Mary has served in various capacities for Selah, including as a founding board member, seminar/group leader, and co-facilitator for Selah’s extended programs, Living From The Heart and Way of the Heart. Mary is a spiritual director and coach, co-facilitator for a spiritual direction training program, and advisor for doctoral students. Mary received her Doctorate of Ministry at Portland Seminary, and her work focuses on a posture of contemplative living across the seasons of life. Her foundation starts with a love for the God who wants to be known and a desire to help others to pause-notice-listen-respond in ways that lead to a deeper understanding of God’s divine invitation. With the support of her husband Bill, Mary serves Selah while also enjoying her family of four adult daughters and their families. Mary lives in Gig Harbor WA where she knows the value of beauty in creation and the gift of community.

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