Daily Devotional: Thursday, April 4 - Call A Timeout

“Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’” — Mark 6:31

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The timeout is a key strategic tool available to coaches and players in sports. Calling a timeout can serve many purposes: stopping the clock from running out to get one more play in, readjusting to an opponent’s formation, or even avoiding a delay-of-game penalty. Coaches will also use a timeout when momentum is not in their team’s favor. There are other times when a team just can’t seem to do anything right, and mistakes begin to compound. The opposing team may be on a scoring run, moving the ball with seemingly no problem. In any case, the game is moving at a frantic pace, and the coach knows the team just needs a moment to stop, settle and refocus.

Our lives can move at frantic paces as well. We have busy work and school schedules, a growing list of chores around the house, and there are just seasons in which a new difficulty seemingly arises just as we’re recovering from a previous challenge. These periods may involve a string of financial setbacks, health problems, or even relational challenges. It’s in these moments that it’s easy to lose focus on what matters and just try to keep up with putting out one fire after another. Taking a moment to stop seems to be the last thing we can afford. However, the best thing we can do in these situations is call a timeout.

In Mark’s gospel account, the disciples had been busy, and Jesus wisely stepped in and called a timeout, instructing them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest” (Mark 6:31). Even though the disciples were carrying out the very work they were called to do, Jesus recognized that they were on the verge of burnout, as “so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat” (v. 31).

God knows our needs better than we do, including when it is appropriate for us to pause. We might be overdue for time in prayer and searching the Scriptures. Sometimes we need to make up some long-overdue quality time with loved ones. No matter the circumstance, everyone needs time to stop and regroup.

In sports, a timeout can only be saved for so long until the clock eventually runs out. In a similar manner, life has a way of stopping us in our tracks if we are not proactively finding time to pause. Make it a habit to pray for a quiet and discerning spirit to know when you need to call a timeout. Be intentional in taking time to stop, rest and align with God on the next play.

— David Kosydar

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