The precise meaning of סֶלָה (selah) still escapes modern and ancient Hebrew scholars alike. The word is used primarily in Psalms and appears to be a musical term. It could mean “to weigh,” “to praise,” or “to pause.” Many view the meaning as a combination of the three, that is, “to pause and praise/think.” Right now, I ask you to do just that.
With the semester officially over this past weekend, many of us are in transition between a jam-packed semester and an equally busy summer. But before you get carried away with your summer internship, job, research, and/or globetrotting, I urge you to take some time to reflect on this last semester and on life in general. What has God been teaching you? In what ways have you grown in your love for God and for others? If you haven’t grown, then why?
It’s so easy to get caught up in the daily grind and miss life’s lessons. We overlook the meaning of life’s current chapter because we are so focused on the next one. Far too seldom do we ever selah. So take out your highlighters and take notes. Don’t skim through the life that God has given you. Reflect on it and worship Him.
In an attempt to stay true to the original use of סֶלָה (selah), I enclosed the following poem:
Precious few hours until the rise of the sun,
My p-sets, my test prep, my paper not done.
The caffeine’s not working, what do I do?
I need to make an A or else I am screwed.
Finals are over, the papers are done,
I will try to relax, I will try to have fun.
There’s still time for meetings, coffee with friends,
Until tomorrow morning, then the packing begins.
I got my summer internship, I’ve found my summer job,
I hope it impresses my friends, I hope it pleases God.
“Wow you’re really busy,” that’s what I like to hear,
The praise of fellow-man, like honey in my ear.
The summer’s almost over and school begins again,
One more year at Harvard, one more to win.
Time to schedule classes, time to find a job,
Wait – I almost forgot, I almost forgot – God.
Daniel Lowery ’16 is a Government concentrator living in Dudley House. He is a big fan of beards, Jesus, powerlifting, ballet, and freedom.