“It’s the Pause That Refreshes,” was the memorable ad campaign of Coca-Cola circa 1929. It’s still sage advice to stop, sip, savor, smell, close your eyes and allow the sun to warm the cheeks as the Coke cools the soul. Or in the northwest, to allow the Cappuccino to warm the soul as the rain cools the cheeks. Aaaaaahhhhh…!
Of course, another pause that refreshes is right around the corner. A week from today, actually. Easy for me to say, as I’m (still) not in charge of the turkey. But what a wonderful pause, sip, savor, smell and repeat it is! And perfectly placed (thank you, President Lincoln) between two obnoxious and never-ending holiday “commercials.” Or commercial holidays.
Halloween, curiously, has screamed and clawed its way to become the #2 spending and decorating holiday in America. We now spend billions annually to celebrate fear and death. Like I said, curious. But we make up for it as we celebrate cold, snow, full sleighs and empty bank accounts. Is it any less curious? I wonder. It is certainly more and more billions every time around the sun. Sigh…
Now fear not my merry and bright friends, I’m no Scrooge…on either holiday. We loved our neighbors with the best candy bars money can buy (thank you Costco), and I even won a new ghost decoration at a baby shower that I kinda dig! (Get it?). And bring on the Christmas music (already started), the smell of a fresh noble fir in the living room, and the full slate of Christmas movies and specials. I’m here for all of it! Even Tim Allen’s latest installment of The Santa Clause (are we at #8 yet?). Yes, I Pause for the Clause! Bring it, Rudolph!
But before we go belly up on our spiced Nog or Wassail, let’s not forget to pause, sip, savor and celebrate one of the greatest holidays of them all. It’s actually my favorite day (meal, nap and game) of the year, as all of the senses get a feast. Bring it, Tom! But I appeal to you once again, not to overlook (or overcook) our dear traditional Tom. Because Thanksgiving is often under-celebrated and under-appreciated, being “in the middle” and all. Can’t you just hear the “A-men!” coming from Peter Brady? (Google, my young readers).
Thanksgiving is not just the greatest of holidays (noun) but is the greatest of habits (verb). We know this, of course, but we need to be reminded as we rush to replace the orange and purple lights with the red and green, and get that critical head start on Black Friday before the pumpkin pie is served. We need to be reminded to make a Thanksgiving List before we make our Christmas List. We need a second helping of gratitude, whether served cold or hot, before our first scoop, sip or lick of peppermint. We don’t just need to slow down the Christmas Train, we need to hit the pause button, and for more than just a short “commercial break.”
That’s where Selah comes in. We were likely first introduced to this term when reading one of the Psalms, where it shows up over 70 times. It essentially means to “stop singing” for a second! Allow a silent beat (or three) to transpire before the snare and trumpet fire back up. Rest. Even in the most beautiful of symphonies, it is the “pause that refreshes.” It allows us to take a breath, close our eyes, and drink in the moment, before the conductor points to the trumpets for the fanfare! And that, to me, is what the Thanksgiving holiday is all about. A Pause before the Clause (and after the Claws)! Okay, I obviously need to stop. And, so do you.
Selah my Friends. Selaaaaaahhhhh…