John Alan Turner

Writer, Theologian, Consultant, Speaker, Teacher

Do I Press Pause or Play?

It's one thing to press play and sing the song of the redeemed when we're standing on the banks of the Red Sea. God has delivered us, and our enemies are dead. That party is pretty easy to start. But here's the problem: Life doesn't always work that way. Sometimes the Red Sea stays closed. Sometimes instead of our enemies getting their lunch handed to them, it's we who find ourselves feeling defeated. What do you do when the test results come back, and it really is as bad as you feared? What do you do when he says, "I just don't want to be married anymore"? When you pray and pray and you still end up where you started?

In those dark hours we are faced with a choice. Do we press play? Or do we press pause?

"Wait a second, God. I don't like this story anymore. This isn't what I signed up for. I signed up for the good parts -- the Red Sea parts -- the deliverance parts. I don't want to play this role. Time out. Somebody hit the pause button."

That thought has probably occurred to all of us at some point in time. But it is those rare, brave souls who somehow muster the strength to press play in the midst of darkness, pain and confusion -- they are the real heroes of faith. Mother Teresa. Paul and Silas. Jenny Runkel. Job. Terry Giboney. Polycarp. Men and women -- some famous, some not -- people of quiet strength whose choice to press play cranked up the volume on the soundtrack for the story of God in a way so people who never would have otherwise had a chance to hear it would.

You know people like that. You may be a person like that. We all have the choice -- when the darkness closes in and the path is hard to see, harder still to climb -- will we press pause? Or will we press play?