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August Activate Post: On your mark, get set…pause!


“On your mark, get set, go!” This phrase brings back fond memories of playing with my siblings as a child and running track as a teenager. Hearing these words was an indication that it was time to prepare for the race to begin. “On your mark” means to go to your designated lane, “get set” means to physically get in position, and “go” means to start running as fast as you can.

Today, it’s easy for us to pick up the mantle to “go,” racing against time. In our busyness with family, goals, life, ministry, schedules, and various other tasks, we fail to pause and take our “mark” or to “get set.” In truth, pausing is counter to our culture and the world we live in. The more we do the more we need to do.

Pausing shifts our posture, quiets our minds, adjusts our focus, tunes the antenna of our discernment, and sharpens our spiritual eyes. It simply sensitizes us to how the Lord is directing and moving. Let me use a personal example as an illustration. I’m notorious for misplacing my car keys. I lose them most often when I’m in hurry. When I tire of frantically searching, I sit down to think about my previous steps and surroundings. When I pause, I ask the Lord to show me where my lost keys are located. Very often I find them in the place I had already looked several times before—in my purse! Pausing enables me to see the keys that were there all along.

In John 4:35, Jesus said, “I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.” Jesus didn’t say what the specific crop was in the fields. He didn’t tell them to only pick the corn, or to not pick the grapes, or to pick the potatoes first. Jesus’ first call was to see. He wants us to first see the important thing—the harvest that is right around us now.

As believers, it’s our charge to go to the fields and collect the harvest. The fields are among us and full of those who are distressed, hopeless, lost, and in need of a Savior. Anyone in the field is a part of the harvest. We don’t get to choose who deserves our attention or when the time is right. A ripe crop left unpicked will eventually rot.

Friends, let’s not allow our children’s sports activities, church calendar, demanding work schedules or wanderlust goals to override our intentionality of pausing. Let us, as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ and a part of His bride, to get on our marks at work, at the mall, in our families, and in our communities; to get set by bowing in a posture of prayer; and to PAUSE to be intentional about seeing those who need a Savior in our own backyards. The harvest is among us!

The Rev. Sonji Y. Pass serves as the regional director of church culture.