Selah

So I am not getting a tattoo.

But if I did, it would look something like this…

selahSelah.

wikipedia= Selah (Hebrewסֶלָה‎, also transliterated as selāh) is a word used 74 times in the Hebrew Bible  – 71 times in the Psalms and three times in Habakkuk  – and is a difficult concept to translate.  It is probably either a liturgico-musical mark or an instruction on the reading of the text, something like “stop and listen.” Selah can also be used to indicate that there is to be a musical interlude at that point in the Psalm.[1] The Amplified Bible translates selah as “pause, and think of that.” It can also be interpreted as a form of underlining in preparation for the next paragraph.

Selah.  Stop and listen.  pause, and think of that.

I need more selah in my life.  I need to pause, to think, to listen, to marvel.

I love that this term can also be used in music- I really think my life needs more musical interludes.  What if we saw stoplights, long lines, unexpected delays not as sources of frustration or time wasted, but as the violin solos of our day?  A chance to sit back and reflect, soak in the beauty of this life we are living?

Do you ever just feel bowled over by the sense of God’s presence?  From time to time I will see something, read something, hear something, taste something, and think this is important.  Not because there is some practical application or monetary value that can be gained from it, but because moments like these are the fabric of life.  Hearing my daughter laugh.  Watching my son run.  Eating a blackberry, straight from the bush.  This is what is important.  This is what I need to pay attention to.

If we don’t embrace selah into the tempo of our lives, we will never give God space to speak.  His lessons will whiz by, lost in the tumult of our hurry.  Stop.  And listen.  That moment was important.  Be present with this person.  Enjoy this piece of music… this experience… this emotion.

How do we learn to stop?  What are we listening for?  There are no answers to these questions, because these questions are the Big Ones, the ones we learn to answer over a lifetime.  But start the journey with me… and hold me accountable to my quest.

Psalm 32

A psalm of David.

Oh, what joy for those
    whose disobedience is forgiven,
    whose sin is put out of sight!
Yes, what joy for those
    whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt,
    whose lives are lived in complete honesty!
When I refused to confess my sin,
    my body wasted away,
    and I groaned all day long.
Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me.
    My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat.     Selah

Finally, I confessed all my sins to you
    and stopped trying to hide my guilt.
I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.”
    And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.     Selah

Therefore, let all the godly pray to you while there is still time,
    that they may not drown in the floodwaters of judgment.
For you are my hiding place;
    you protect me from trouble.
    You surround me with songs of victory.    Selah

The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.
    I will advise you and watch over you.
Do not be like a senseless horse or mule
    that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.”

10 Many sorrows come to the wicked,
    but unfailing love surrounds those who trust the Lord.
11 So rejoice in the Lord and be glad, all you who obey him!
    Shout for joy, all you whose hearts are pure!

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