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Selah Down and Smell the Roses

by Sonia C. Solomonson

Most of you are too young to remember that the slogan for Coca-Cola in 1929 was “the pause that refreshes.” that was before my time, too.

That advertising slogan is considered to be one of Coca-Cola’s most famous, and its theme is still echoed in today’s ads. Campaigns for some 20 years were built on that idea; especially in the Depression and post-Depression years, that message undoubtedly resonated. Coke aside, what are the pauses in your life that refresh? Do you even have any pauses in your life?

People of all ages today complain that life is way too busy. Its pace has spiraled out of control. That also extends into our spiritual life—into Scripture reading, prayer, meditation, and inspirational reading time.

So when the Bible study writer pauses in her study of Psalm 81 to draw our attention to the word selah, which provides a break in several of the Psalms, it’s an invitation to look at that word rather than just skip over it as many of us likely have done for years.

As the Bible study indicates, selah may be a musical mark (“a pause in singing for narration, instructions for choral singers or instrumentalists”) or it may indicate a point where we really need to “pause, and think of that.” In the Bible study, it says that scholars and theologians aren’t in agreement on the meaning of the word. I’ve heard of various meanings from “lift up” to “weigh” to “pause and reflect”—and some say it’s a connecting word for what precedes and what follows it. Either way, it seems to be an important word that deserves attention.

Sonia C. Solomonson, life coach with Way2Grow Coaching in Streamwood, Ill., enjoys more pauses in her life these days.

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