It's a command associated with someone in authority wanting a person to stop running. HALT is also used as an acronym to warn us of danger.
H - Watch out when you're hungry. Jacob knew Esau would be hungry after a day of hunting, and used a savory stew to exchange his birthright for a hearty meal. It was a bad deal that caused their entire family much grief over the course of a lifetime.
A - Watch out when you're angry. David almost killed a bunch of people because they refused to help him and his men. The wise intervention of Abigail prevented a disaster and helped him calm down.
L - Watch out when you're lonely. It's easy to seek comfort in all the wrong places when you're gripped by loneliness.
T - Watch out when you're tired. Sleep deprivation can weaken your resolve to stay the course and make right decisions.
As writers, each one of these situations can present temptations:
H - Are we hungry for recognition? Watch out! Scripture tells us to let another praise us and not our own mouth. This doesn't mean we shouldn't make others aware of our work or accomplishments, but rather do so with a humble spirit.
A - A bad review, a Frankenstein edit (lots of red ink), or any number of situations can make us angry. During those times, stepping back and allowing the dust to settle will give us perspective and an opportunity to deal with them in a reasonable manner.
L - The writing life is a lonely one. In our desire to connect with other writers, we may entrust our articles, poems, or manuscripts to anyone who comes along. That's a good way to end up bruised and bleeding from non-constructive criticism.
T - With all the demands of life and writing, it's easy to get tired. During those times, avoid making drastic decisions that will affect the course of your writing career. Get the rest you need, so you can evaluate your choices with a clear head and a prayerful heart.
Writers and Readers: What are some of the warning signs that set off alarms in your head?