We leave the church building inspired and filled with Truth and encouragement each Sunday … and somewhere along the course of the week, often we find ourselves in need of a little bit of something to help us through.
Welcome to Extra Strength: a mid-week pick-you-up for the soul. Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom for extra encouragement and challenge.
As I child I played many games. If I mentioned them some may sound familiar and others may have only been unique to where I lived. But there is one childhood game that I believe many people are familiar with and that game is “1-2-3 Red Light”.
When playing the game, you would all line up in a row while someone far in front of you would yell out, “green light”. At which time you would proceed to walk or run as fast as you could to reach them before they had the chance to say, “1-2-3 red light”. Once they said those words you were to freeze in your tracks. If you were caught moving you had to return to the starting point and hope to still get to them before anyone else did. All the while you were frozen, you excitedly awaited the chance to take off again at the announcement of the green light.
As I sat in service on Sunday I realized that we have been taught to only pay attention to the red light and green light at a very young age. There wasn’t any games where you would pause, only stopping and going. Everything was a chase and the faster you were, the greater your chance was at winning. It’s funny that nothing has changed. We still move as fast as we can to get from place to place awaiting the moment to get ahead. This process causes us to always live in the future and missing out on the present.
Pastor Josh hit home completely for me when he said that we miss out on people when we don’t take the time to slow down and notice. We become processors. A processor is someone who appears to be giving you their undivided attention but are simply moving you along so they can move along. I am guilty of being a processor with those who should matter most, my kids. They seem to always want me when I am in the middle of something while at the same time thinking of moving on to the next thing. Each time they say “mom”, they stop me from doing what I have considered to be important at the time. I become frustrated and process them or push them aside while I take care of the chores or check Facebook or some other task that could surely wait. I have showed them with my actions, on far too many occasions, that other things are more important to me than them.
After hearing the message Sunday I made a conscious effort to stop and pay attention. I had a chance to pause when my youngest came to me the other day as I sat reading a book, something I don’t have a chance to do often. He said that he wanted to show me something. Honestly I didn’t really want to see but it mattered to him so I stopped and noticed. He showed me pictures and videos that he came across on his tablet from a year or so ago that brought him joy. It brought me joy to be able to share in that moment with him. I can still see the smile on his face as I gave him my undivided attention. When he was done he said that he tried to show his brothers but they were too busy. What if when he came to me I had also been too busy.
I have them for a short time and they won’t always want to show me things, sit and talk or cuddle. I pray that God continues to nudge me and lead me to pause and take a moment to experience life with them and others who I hold dear.
Sheryll Belonga is wife to Jurrell and homeschooling mom to their three great boys. Her hearts desire is to glorify God in all she says and does in spite of life’s daily happenings.