4:14 “After I took time out to look things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, ‘Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.”
Nehemiah 4:14 (NIV)
Have you ever examined how teams use their timeouts? Critical adjustments and momentum swings should germinate in and out of these pauses. Better thoughts await their rise or reestablishment.
What needs to be done next looks for a launchpad. Next opportunities long to be better seized. Seams yearn to be tightened. For sure, future wins hinge on great timeouts.
The same is true for personal timeouts. When we take them and what we do with them is crucial. Which of the following could be a great personal timeout for you to take today?
GOING FOR A WALK: Perhaps praying as you stride. Stick it even in the middle of your work day. Exercise like this can become a great timeout (John 11:9,10; Proverbs 13:20).
SEEKING WISE COUNSEL: Others may see under your hood better than you do. Let them take a look (Proverbs 27:17).
DRINKING DEEPLY FROM GOOD BOOKS: especially the Bible. Wins come from finding yourself in those stories and letting those stories and truths find their way into you. Make time to read good stuff (Psalm 1:2).
WATCHING A MOVIE: for more than just entertainment. Demand more from your screen time choices (Colossians 3:17).
ESTABLISHING PRAYER REGIMENS: Insert them into your daily routines. Give God your waking, waning, worried, and waiting thoughts. Whispering to God in little flurries like this is so wise and beneficial (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
GOING TO CHURCH: Taking regular, extended timeouts for God and spiritual community is crucial. We were made for worship. We were made for fellowship. Live it weekly (Hebrews 10:25; Psalm 122:1).
BUILDING FRIENDSHIP: not just having friends. Invest in people. Growing social media accounts doesn’t work like holding real huddles. We were made for more. Make friendship a fine art (Proverbs 17:17).
JOURNALING THOUGHTS: Inspect self, reflect on the day, capture a memory. It builds good perspective (1 Corinthians 11:28).
DIETING PRACTICES: Something happens when we fast. Abstaining from certain food or drink (or something else) often renews the body, clears the mind, sharpens the focus, sanctifies the soul (Nehemiah 1:4-2:20),
GETTING REST: not just sleep. Soul rest is best. Get alone. Be still. Productivity rises and falls on rest (Exodus 33:14; Psalm 16:7-11; Matthew 11:28).
DOING SOMETHING FOR DELIGHT: Surprise someone. Rejoice (or weep) with another. Gift another (and yourself) with delight (Psalm 37:4,23).
Let’s be great at taking and using our timeouts, just like Nehemiah. His called timeout changed the course of a nation. Here was his huddle message:
REMEMBER THE LORD. He is great and awesome. Drop anchor here. Who we belong to makes all the difference in the world.
REFOCUS YOUR ATTENTION. The enemy doesn’t deserve our attention. Faith leaves no room for fear.
RECLAIM YOUR VISION. Fight for pure, right relationships. Fight for family. Fight for justice. Fight for freedom. Fight for the heart of our King.
If you don’t burn timeouts like this, life might just burn you.
Reflect: Are you skillfully, strategically calling timeouts in your life? What messages are being communicated when you do?
A prayer to consider: Heavenly Father, thanks so much for taking timeout to know me, love me, save me, guide me and keep me. Help me become great at taking good timeouts for You, for others, with others, with myself. Show me what this looks like again today by your Spirit.
Jesus, remind me that remembering You as the center of everything, refocusing away from enemy fear, and reclaiming my vision will all pivot me toward victory. Amen.