Creating Selah Moments
Lam Kok Hiang is currently serving with Cru Singapore. His article that was first published on Cru.org has been slightly modified here.
Did you know that the word “Selah” appears seventy-one times in Psalms, the unofficial song and poetry book of the Bible?
The Hebrew word, also appears three times in the book of Habakkuk, and suggests either a liturgical-musical intermission or an instruction to pause and ponder, in order to savour the meaning and the significance of the moment. In the Bible, we read of multiple instances where Jesus would withdraw to a quiet, solitary place to pray. Christ shows us that we need to be intentional in order to make room for Selah and be still before our God. Yet, such Selah moments may slip by us in our hurried and stressful lives where we are preoccupied with life’s demands and gripped by concerns and anxiety. We may especially feel this way as we adjust to post-pandemic living where the pace of school, work and life in general has returned to pre-pandemic highs. These quiet moments of reflection become all the more necessary as we seek rest in a world that is in constant overdrive.
Creating Selah moments is one way we can maintain our mental and emotional well-being. I have found that Selah moments can help us to enjoy the God-created rhythms of work and rest by:
Positioning us to hear God’s voice and be in His presence as we engage with Him, His Word and His Spirit on a deeper and more personal level
Allowing us to connect with our inner self by attending to our own inner voice and the desires of our hearts
Clearing our cluttered minds by creating space for us to process our thoughts or take a mind break
Disrupting our busy schedules so that we can enjoy the present moment
Helping us to pay attention to the things that are truly important in our lives
As I ponder over how Selah could be applied in today’s fast-paced life, let me share with you my personal list of Selah moments:
Take time to celebrate even small wins
Take several deep breaths when I feel the tension rising
Carve out time to contemplate and listen with your heart - to chill, to be still, to take a walk to get fresh air and sunlight
Take a nap when my body is tired
Enjoy a cup of tea or coffee
Go on a silent and solitude retreat to reorient my inner compass
Create boundaries around my schedule by declining participation in certain activities
Give myself permission to cry, or grieve
Journal my thoughts and experiences
Take a vacation
Spend time with my loved ones
Observe the Sabbath
Let us live intentionally by creating Selah moments where we pause and ponder in a manner that refreshes us and reflects our set apart identity as God’s children.