What are those situations in your life where you wish you would have paused before acting? I have plenty circumstances that would apply to that, and I believe for many of us it is a learned behavior. In this rapid paced society we now live in, pausing is not popular and it is considered "old school" behavior.
Andy Stanley did a teaching series called "The Pause" which I would highly recommend taking a look at. My take from what he said and how Christy from WLP has adapted it to addiction recovery, is that we need to prepare for the pause by changing the way we think if it is something we struggle with. If we act by emotions in most situations we will loose control of what should be, and act without regard to sanity.
Here is a simple anacronym for PAUSE:
Pray don't prey on the situation - don't overreact
Assess the current situation - what is really going on
Use my past experience as a reference - how did that work out
Seriously consider your future plans and dreams - how does this action reflect my goals
Embrace the suck - you may not do what you want to, but do what you need to and own it
In the A.A. Big Book it says on page 87: As we go through the day we pause, when agitated or doubtful and ask for the right thought or action. The key here is "the right thought". We have a thought but is it the right thought?
In my sober, saved life now, I take my cue from David's words in Psalm 27 which indicate that our complete trust in the Lord, which transforms the way we think, will help us approach these situations with confidence that even though the wrong thought may be our first one, we will insert the pause and eventually the right thought will emerge.
The Lord is my light and my salvation - whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life - of whom shall i be afraid? When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; thought war break out against me,
even then I will be confident. V 1-3, and this:
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. V14 There's the pause, wait before we fly off the handle, make a bad decision, give in to those using thoughts. We become confident through a learned process of faith and subsequent work on our defects of character, that help us pause to win the moment.
Insert pause + pray + assess + wait = the right choice! So simple, yet so far away sometimes in the moment.
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.