Intermission Permission

August 24th, 2017 / Stephane

By Dorcas Payne

After snoozing the alarm clock a couple dozen times, we get up and get ‘ready’ – which for some of us includes putting on a mask. You pick up your bag (not forgetting your life support – your phone) and head out the door. The journey is the same and you no longer see people just shapes and grays, it’s all pretty much a blur. The button gets switched to on as you move into auto pilot whilst walking into work. This has become life. Each day is the same, you just wake up a little more tired than the day before. Most of your messages start with ‘apologies for the delayed response’ or ‘sorry it’s been a while’. Conversations remain shallow because there isn’t time for depth or simple because the relationship has run its course but apathy doesn’t allow us to be bold enough to find something new.

Dispassion and indifference is a dangerous place to be albeit seeming safe on the surface. In the same way, exhaustion is a terrible state to dwell in. Both kill the flames of desire and we all know without desire, there can’t be hope and hopelessness has been a silent killer of dreams for as long as we can remember.

The above all may feel way too familiar. We believe that’s life, that’s the grind, you can’t stop because you will lose your place in the rat race. We live by that saying ‘time waits for no man’ so if time doesn’t stop neither can you. This is untrue. Life is a combination of moments of respite as well as movement. Let’s learn to give ourselves permission to have intermissions.

Solitude Not Isolation

Jesus often reminded his disciples to ‘come away by yourselves to a desolate place to rest a while’ (Mark 6:31). When was the last time you allowed yourself to get away with God and enjoy a moment of solitude? We are a switched-on generation that boasts in being accessible 24/7, however I don’t think we are physically or mentally built to be open all day every day and live a life without boundaries. You are permitted to pause, you are allowed to switch off for a moment and rest. The key thing to remember in this process is to not leave ourselves at the mercy of our wandering thoughts but invite God into this rest – this is how the beauty of solitude is maximised. Meditation and time out is only profitable if we guard our thoughts and align them with God’s.

Resting Not Quitting

Ultimately God is the perfect rest and He encourages all of us to make every effort to enter into it (Hebrews 4:9-11). The hustle and bustle of life can sometimes place a burden of self-sufficiency on our shoulders that we were never made to bear. You begin to understand the importance of the Sabbath and no matter how or where we chose to take it, we have to understand that it is vital that we incorporate it into our lives in order to keep the cogs moving. God has not been sleeping since the first mention of the Sabbath in Genesis 2:3, resting is therefore not quitting or coming to a complete stop it is simply an inhale/exhale moment – a time of clarity and improvement.

Refuelling the Flames

Intermissions can now be somewhat counterintuitive in our modern-day societies, even our holidays are jam packed with activities and busyness. Truth be told, resting doesn’t bode well on social media as busyness has been equated to productivity. Just like fanning flames requires a bit of work, we also must labour to rest – fighting for your intermission moment will require some sacrifice on your part. Your respite moments may bring out some decisions to add or subtract certain things in order to ensure your light never gets as dim as it did the last time. We must rest when we are tired and not wait until we are burnt out.

I challenge you to schedule in your intermission – unapologetically. Embrace your selah moments and be blown away by the beauty that is created in your interval. Intermission permission granted!

Sometimes you’ve got to close your mouth
To let the words speak clearly
Sometimes you have to close your eyes
To let the sun come shining
Sometimes you have to learn to leave
To make sure love continues
Sometimes we’re all going to need an intermission

Sometimes you’ve got to get on your knees
To keep your spirit standing
Sometimes you’ve got to let it bleed
And let go of the bandage
Inhale, exhale, release and let yourself receive forgiveness
Sometimes we’re all going to need an intermission (Yeah)

– Emeli Sande, Intermission

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