Last night our 7th grade guys played a quicker, stronger, taller team with a good half-court press in a tiny crackerbox gym.   A couple of timeouts were not enough to help us adjust and we went into half-time down 25 to 8.  During halftime, we were able to catch our breath, clear our heads, and go into the second half with a new focus.  As a result we were able to adjust on both ends of the court, outscoring our opponents 19 – 12 in the second half.  No happy ending….the bad guys still won 🙂 …but it became a different ball game!  What a difference some time to breath and think and receive instruction meant for our guys.

This week, an old friend has been inviting me to connect in some thoughtful and potentially deep interactions on social media.  My responses have been thoughtful…sort of.  Or at least as much as I can be while on the run.  I would enjoy engaging at a deeper level.  I need a timeout in order to breath, to think, and to respond well.

About ten days ago, I went about an hour away to a lake house for some extended prayer time.  I spent the morning pacing about on the deck overlooking the water and talking/listening to God.  It was wonderful.  It has made a real difference in my week.  Time to breath, to think, to receive and to respond.

Recently, a numberNobel Prize winners were asked to give their advice for the future.  Kara Powell from Fuller Youth Institute references this story from Tony Schwartz’s Harvard Business Reveiw blog here:  Tony quotes one economist:  “Leaders don’t have time for the future because they’re too busy with the present.”  I’ll let you read the blog for yourself.

Time to breathe, time to think, time to receive, time to respond…..who needs a timeout!  Can you…do you…take timouts?  When working with youth…..or with your own children… you teach them to hold the accelerator to the floor or to use the brake and put it in park for awhile?

What are some of your favorite methods of taking a time-out?  How do you model it well for others?

  1. Amen Hal! I notice if I don’t schedule timeouts, God will force me to take them (i.e., sickness, schedule fall throughs, circumstances WAY beyond my control). So now I look at dry seasons as opportunities of rest, prayer, reflection and rejuvenation. I used to look at them as wasting time or would feel guilty for not being more productive. Oh the ever grinding cogs of the “Achievatron” eh? I hope I can be more encouraging to others, especially those who work for me to take timeouts and rest also.

  2. Scott Lewis says:

    Up a tree or waist deep in a cold trout stream are my two favorite places for some one on one with God and some relaxation. I also will just sit at the work bench in the man cave and do nothing.
    Any time spent outdoors in His creation always rejuvenates me and always results in some spiritual dialogue. Even merely sitting at the patio sipping coffee and watching the wildlife in the backyard serves as a great timeout for me.

  3. Mindi says:

    As corny as it may sound, long walks beside the ocean are my timeouts. I see God in the ocean more than in any other of His creations. That’s just where He reaches me (which could possibly be why He led me to live near the ocean–duh).

  4. Jeff Blake says:

    This a mighty good word, Hal. Thanks for sharing. Those centering moments, still times, time outs are so crucial to our well being. They make all the difference in keeping perspective and staying alive and awake for the journey!

  5. halhamilton says:

    John, no kidding. I think I might be taking one of those today.

    Scott, Mindi, those both sound really good to me. I can use my backyard most days, but when I need some significant rest….nothing beats the Rockies for me.

    “They make all the difference in keeping perspective and staying alive and awake for the journey!” Well-put, Jeff!

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