Wednesday, February 9, 2011



Ok, I’m about to admit something that is probably true of more people than we think: I’ve never read the whole bible.

I know, right? I mean, if you start talking about a bible story, I’ve probably heard it. I went to a Catholic school and we had religion class every day. I learned the stories and the meanings and the lessons. I heard the stories from the bible in church on Sundays and learned its lessons through the homilies. But actually pick it up and read it myself? It just wasn’t part of the curriculum.

So I’ve been rectifying that.

I tried the chronological bible, but I decided that will be the way to go when I read it for the second time. For the first time through it was just a lot of repetition of names and places, and I lost interest pretty quickly.

Just being honest.

But I got a new study bible that I’ve been loving and learning a lot from. One of the things I’ve noticed, as I’ve been reading through the Psalms, is that there is a random word over to the side from time to time.


I didn’t know what it meant. The only time I had ever heard the word was when I met Angie and learned it was the name of her husband’s singing group. Yes, I am that pitiful. But even at that, I didn’t know the meaning. So I looked it up.

se·lah   [see-luh, sel-uh]

an expression occurring frequently in the Psalms, thought to be a liturgical or musical direction, probably a direction by the leader to raise the voice or perhaps an indication of a pause.

Now, I’m sure there are a million biblical people who have a lot to say about the word/concept. But the thing that stood out to me is the idea of pausing, and raising our voices.

How would our lives be different if we took that word from the psalms and applied it to every happening of our every day lives?

I know what it would do to my focus.

I think it’s easy to pause for the impactful. Pause when there is a great celebration we are thankful for. Pause when we are hurting and angst-ridden because we need guidance and reassurance. We pause. We selah. We raise our voices to God in praise or petition.

I think I need more selah in my mundane.

I think every moment from God is gifted. He has thought out our path. He has seen down our road. He has counted the hairs on our head and the grains of sand on the beach. Everything matters to Him.

Which means everything should matter to us.

What if every circumstance in our lives was considered a pause in the psalm? What if every circumstance, even the simple mundane tasks and conversations and duties, caused us to pause… and then to raise our voices?

Recognize Him in everything. Pause to acknowledge Him in everything. And then raise our voices so He hears us acknowledging and honoring Him.

I know what it would do for me.

I would find so much more joy, because I would find so much more Him.

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