Creating selah moments

Lam Kok Hiang // March 17, 2023, 3:02 pm


"Selah moments" can help us to enjoy the God-created rhythms of work and rest, but how do we create such moments? Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash.

Did you know that the word “selah” appears 71 times in Psalms, the unofficial song and poetry book of the Bible?

The Hebrew word, also appears three times in the book of Habakkuk, and suggests either a liturgical-musical intermission or an instruction to pause and ponder, in order to savour the meaning and the significance of the moment (Habakkuk 3:3, 9, 13).

In the Bible, we read of multiple instances where Jesus would withdraw to a quiet, solitary place to pray. Christ shows us that we need to be intentional in order to make room for “selah” and be still before our God.

Quiet moments of reflection become all the more necessary as we seek rest in a world that is in constant overdrive.

Yet, such “selah moments” may slip by us in our hurried and stressful lives when we are preoccupied with life’s demands and gripped by concerns and anxiety. We may especially feel this way as we adjust to post-pandemic living where the pace of school, work and life in general has returned to pre-pandemic highs.

These quiet moments of reflection become all the more necessary as we seek rest in a world that is in constant overdrive.

Creating “selah moments” is one way we can maintain our mental and emotional well-being. I have found that “selah moments” can help us to enjoy the God-created rhythms of work and rest by:

  • Positioning us to hear God’s voice and be in His presence as we engage with Him, His Word and His Spirit on a deeper and more personal level;
  • Allowing us to connect with our inner self by attending to our own inner voice and the desires of our hearts;
  • Clearing our cluttered minds by creating space for us to process our thoughts or take a mind break;
  • Disrupting our busy schedules so that we can enjoy the present moment;
  • Helping us to pay attention to the things that are truly important in our lives.

Pause and ponder

As I ponder how selah can be applied to today’s fast-paced life, let me share with you my personal list of “selah moments”:

  • Take time to celebrate even small wins.
  • Take several deep breaths when I feel the tension rising.
  • Carve out time to contemplate and listen with your heart – to chill, to be still, to take a walk to get fresh air and sunlight.
  • Take a nap when my body is tired.
  • Enjoy a cup of tea or coffee.
  • Go on a silent and solitude retreat to reorient my inner compass.
  • Create boundaries around my schedule by declining participation in certain activities.
  • Give myself permission to cry, or grieve.
  • Journal my thoughts and experiences.
  • Take a vacation.
  • Spend time with my loved ones.
  • Observe the Sabbath.

Let us live intentionally by creating “selah moments” when we pause and ponder in a manner that refreshes us and reflects our set-apart identity as God’s children.

This was first published on Cru Singapore. It is republished with permission.


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About the author

Lam Kok Hiang

Lam Kok Hiang has over 30 years of experience in full-time Christian vocational ministry. He holds a MA (Biblical Studies) from Dallas Theological Seminary and led Cru Singapore as National Team Leader since 2006. An avid runner, Kok Hiang shares a love for books with his wife, Sharon. Together, their desire is to see young leaders rise up in local churches and missions agencies across Asia.