It’s a typical family meal. Larry and I find our plates half full when our teenagers are already excusing themselves and taking their dishes to the dishwasher. He and I look at each other with unspoken wonder while rhetorically thinking, “Are we done yet?”
More than once, we’ve challenged the kids to linger just a little longer. Contrary to popular opinion, some parents don’t have cooties! We’d enjoy the chance to sit and talk a few minutes more about their day, what’s on their minds, what’s coming up for the evening, and so on. Understandably they have homework to do, piano to play, texts to send, tv to watch, and it might even be laundry day with a “Family Power Fold” on the evening schedule. Still, we’re counting the days til college and measuring the preciousness of each moment. We crave more lingering.
It occurred to me one day recently that my time with God is like that. He wants me to linger. I’m in a hurry. He says “come near to me and I will come near to you” (James 4:8). I quickly say “gimmee gimmee” and then run for my To-Do list.
Sometimes I linger. I stay long enough to get what I wanted to get out of it. But did I stay long enough for God to give all HE wanted to give or for either of us to experience the full delight of our undistracted, unhurried nearness to one another?
What if I spent time in quiet reflection with the Lord until I was absolutely certain we were BOTH finished?
3 Trust in the LORD and do good;
DWELL in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
4 Take delight in the LORD,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in him and HE WILL DO THIS:
6 He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
your vindication like the noonday sun.
7 BE STILL before the LORD
and WAIT PATIENTLY for him
With Thanksgiving, Christmas and a new year fast approaching, perhaps you would take this challenge with me:
Meet with the Lord quietly now and then, praying and reading the Bible — when you think you’re done, ask the Lord, “Are we done yet?” If you sense the answer is “yes” then go forth and enjoy the rest of your day appreciating that God is always near. If you’re unsure that your mutual business is done, then be still a while longer, read a little more, journal or pray and listen for more promptings of the Holy Spirit.