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Weekly message from Neighborhood Church: The strength building of pause

It was this weekend many years ago I ran the Long Beach Marathon. I am not a runner! I was a swimmer from elementary school, competing in the Junior Olympics, and swam on a swim team through high school. I really do love to swim. I only ran when I had to or when I could not get to a pool. However, a good friend shamed me into training and running in a marathon!! You know 26.2 miles, 42.1 kilometers. That’s a long distance! I did not know how I was going to make it. The ‘good’ friend that shamed me into running also gave me a training method that included intervals of walking! It’s called the Galloway run-walk-run Method. The premise behind the method is to provide a pause to the muscle strain of running long distances. So, I started to train. I would run for 3 minutes, then walk for one. That pause gave me the strength to keep going. And it works! I completed the marathon in good time, all because of the strength building of pause.

This works in our mental marathons as well, or in the regular stress and strain on our brains as we live, work, and play. Mental Health experts say there is a power in pause. These moments to stop a current activity and redirect our thinking allow us to increase focus, know there are other choices, reduce stress, help maintain interest and energy level, better concentration, and renew mental strength. There is a whole lot more, but the strength building of pause is huge.

God desires us to take moments of pause. A lot of that is to stop and pray.

Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

When we take this time to pause, look at what happens…

Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

As our days get stressful and impacted, let’s build in some strength-building pauses. I know when I shift from one activity to another, I take just a minute or two and pause as I sit in silence and say a few words to God. I know He loves it when we pray. This pause helps me be present in the moment to come, and I feel even more connected to God.

As well, after a tough work week or several days of intensity, it helps to take a longer pause. As you read the creation story from the Bible in Genesis 1:1-31, God took a pause.

Genesis 2:2 And on the seventh day God finished His work that He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work that He had done.

Now God does not need to renew strength or regroup or anything that a pause might bring, but we do!! There is a strength-building power in pause. Why not try it? It may really help and give you the strength to make it through the next portion of whatever marathon you are running.

Church is a great place to take a pause, to attend a worship gathering and connect with God. If you don’t have a church you regularly attend we would like to invite you to view or visit Neighborhood Church. Our website has all the information you need for times and locations of all our Sunday gatherings. We would love for you to join in. You can also find us online at neighborhoodchurch.com. As well, if you would like to view any of our past worship gatherings or videos, visit our YouTube channel, or just search Neighborhood Church Cypress or Neighborhood Church Los Alamitos on their YouTube site.

Seeking to engage strength building pauses along with you,

Mike