I give a rather popular talk entitled “And Then God Gave Me A Time-Out”. In it, I speak about the time-outs I had, a freak leg injury that was quickly followed by stage III cancer. In the period of 18 months I had 12 surgeries, chemo and radiation between repairs of my leg and treatments for cancer. The point of the talk is to share what I learned when I was forced to sit quietly, with God.
As I reflect on this worldwide time-out, I think about the many time-outs we have in life. Have you ever given your child a time-out when they mis-behaved? If you play or enjoy watching sports, what happens during a time-out? In the theater world, we call them intermissions, but they are the same thing, aren’t they? All of these are an opportunity to rest, but even more to the point, to reflect and refocus.
And that brings us to today, and this pandemic we are facing. We are, collectively, being asked to stay home and sit quietly. We are all in the middle of a time-out. What does that look like for you? What might you learn?
When I speak about time-outs, I share the many different things I learned when I was forced to slow down. I thought I might start sharing short reflections each day to consider this collective time-out we are all having.
For today, I am thinking about how scary the first time-out was for me. I went from go, go, go to a dead stop with the freak leg injury. I didn’t know how to sit quietly, to just be. I thought my value was in my busyness. If I was not busy, well, then where was my value? An important part of my time-outs were to refocus, to find my intrinsic value.
REFLECTION: For today consider what it means for you to go from your busy world to this immediate stop. What are you being forced to let go of during this time? Are you finding more quiet in your days? What is your response to that quiet?