Perhaps, also like me, you have wondered what it would be like to live in the days of David, the shepherd and song writer. Slow paced. Quiet. Peaceful. No iPhone. No TV. No laptop. No social media.
And so, when reading his lyrics (mostly in the Psalms), and I see the word “Selah,” I ignore it. I fly by. This roller-coaster rider ain’t got time for that shepherd-boy pace.
Take Psalm 46, for example:
Three verses, Selah
Four verses, Selah
Four more verses, Selah
The pause button is for playback on Spotify, not for life.
Or, evidently, for worship.
Most of our worship gatherings abhor the vacuum of dead-time. We plan our transitions to avoid the deadly pause.
This is, in my opinion, good and right. Time is valuable—no, priceless—and we should use every moment the best way we can.
May I gently suggest that sometimes the best use of a moment is to pause? To be silent? To rest?
At the end of a song in a recent worship gathering at my church, we repeated the chorus of the old hymn, “Turn Your Eyes upon Jesus.” At the end of the singing was a “Selah” moment. No one moved. No one spoke. The moment was too holy to stomp on with words. It didn’t last long, but it was magnificent, memorable.
Perhaps we should plan for these moments. Holy deep breaths.
Sometimes we would benefit from a few seconds to let something sink in. Deeply.
Other times we could improve the worship flow by allowing for a moment of anticipation.
Great preachers do this well.
Great worship leaders do too.
Are there ways you have experienced this? Created Selah? Share in the comments!