08 May LINGERING
We live in a hustling world that feels the need for instant gratification and “moving along.” For far too long, I have found myself pacing around trying to grasp this “vision” I had for my life. Each morning, I wake up with an agenda ready to be conquered. The need to wake up at a certain time each morning, workout, be on my hands and knees all before 8am dictated my day. Running and sprinting motivated my soul for the gratification it was longing for. As I got caught up in my hustle, I noticed that my dear heart was searching for something. This something was not quantifiable, but for all I knew, I was searching. Do you see this trend in yourself? Our busy masks, our deepest cries, as we are in pursuit of achievements. There would be times when I was not even in pursuit of anything, yet my hustle gained momentum. Whatever the pursuit was, I found myself running around for an “answer” that was right in front of me all along.
When I am home in Dallas, my dad and I have this tradition of going to Mi Cocina any chance we get. One day over the weekend, we ate at our beloved lunch spot in our beloved booth. For about an hour, we exchanged thoughts and agendas with each other over a cup of guacamole, without ever really talking. We finished our lunch and headed home. I kid you not, we pull up to the house through the alley and through the garage and my dad begins to talk about his childhood memories.
WE HAD A WHOLE HOUR AND NOW HE CHOOSES TO TELL ME ABOUT HIS CHILDHOOD? I had somewhere to be, but I knew that I needed to sit still and listen.
Something I admire about my dad is that he takes his time and he is thorough. I’ve learned that I just get caught up in the hustle, that I do not allow myself to stay around long enough to really know him. When I really take the time to think about it, this has been true through my life. My dear dad has suffered from chronic back pain that jolts pain down his spine into his legs or up to his neck. As far into my childhood as I can remember, he has walked with a cane because of his pain. As a child, I thought nothing of it until I began to get older. Each year I realized that my dad was not able to run with me. There were times where his pain was so severe, he could not even stay awake. Observing this year after year as I began to get older, the angsty teenager in me was not pleased. There was a deep desire to be pursued in an active way by my dad. My prideful and immature heart did not see who was right in front of me. Because of my pursuit of a fast pace, I was blind to see the beauty in the slow pace.
I wonder, if I would have waited just a little bit longer, lingered slightly so growing up, if I would have received more peace in this process. The process of being a daughter and truly knowing my dad. My dearest daddy has such a cool story. Back behind his ocean blue eyes are sights that he will forever carry with him for all of his days. Dearest Rick trained in the Air Force, traveled to many countries, met many people and experienced his own life as a kid. This story that sits deep inside of him needs someone who will be willing to sit and listen even in moments of silence. My dad is a gentle-man who is a quiet observer, yet soaks in life that is around him. Yet my soul, who yearns to hustle, can get so caught up in the process of running, that I sprint past the fact that slowing down allows for a deeper understanding. Even more than simply slowing down, lingering is something else we must consider.
Because think of this. How do we really get to know someone? We usually take the time to dive deeper and stay a little bit longer to receive depth.
Our Heavenly Father is just the same. He has such a presence about Himself that is gentle and kind. His Spirit is such that lingers through His children that allures us into the wonder of who He is. There is not a pace that we must run to catch Him because He is here in front of us all the time. What we get to do is just show up and come to Him. We must SLOW DOWN just long enough to listen.
I wonder why we run this fast pace. Maybe, just maybe, we are running away from feelings or from being fully known. Maybe just maybe, we are running toward an opportunity or toward the future expectation. Whatever it is, this pace has gotten the best of our truest design – to be known and to be loved.
I want to grant each of us the freedom to slow down to be seen and to see others. What I noticed in myself was a pride and sin of a hustler deep within me that saw potential and progress in the pace. I prided the idea of time and wanting to make the best use of what I had. I was addicted to the pace of productivity that I did not let the blessings of the deepening pace to come into fruition. Even in music, if something is just a little too slow, I am quick to skip to the next. Maybe it is the pauses that come in that make me feel as if it was wasting time.
This week, I urge you, when your soul wants to hustle and just “figure it out,” let yourself linger. Linger long enough to really listen and to really receive. Take a slower pace when you interact with other people. Especially the people closest to you. We all assume that we truly know our people, but we are always learning. Ask bold questions, keep the yearning of learning going in you and invite others into this pursuit.
We can be a generation that changes the culture’s desire to run, fast forward, and just go on to the next thing. As we continue to proceed in this life, let us humbly halt the pace to see the beauty that has been in front of us the entire time.
Let lingering surprise you, dear friends.
Psalm 46:10a “Be still and know that I am God…”