The pace of life seems to be getting faster and faster. Messages are no longer thought about at length while they are written on paper, but are sent quickly, often in shorthand via text or messenger, or various other apps. Coffee dates are scheduled into diaries around a variety of other events with definite ‘must be out of here’ times so that the next scheduled event can be got to on time. I have been finding that intentional times with God have been becoming more characterised by this quick-fire change as well. Whether reading my bible, spending time in prayer or attending a mid-week or Sunday gathering, as soon as it has finished my mind has moved onto the next thing to do. It might just be that I am getting slower and slower. But it might be that we are forgetting the art of lingering.
One of the dictionary definitions of the word linger is: to stay in a place longer than necessary because of a reluctance to leave. As I have been moving through this week, my prayer has been – Lord, help me to linger in You. Instead of merely trying to rush through my week and get everything done, help me to linger in You. Instead of just trying to get enough sleep or downtime, help me to rest securely in You, lingering in the presence of your Holy Spirit. Jesus, teach me to linger, to stay in your presence, reluctant to leave.
During our next preaching series on the Lord’s Supper (March-April), and next Grow Night series on The Life of Christ in the Gospels (Tuesday nights in March), I am looking forward to practicing the art of lingering as we focus for a time on what God has done for us. How about you? How will you create the space to practice the art of lingering in God’s presence.