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extravagant lingering

I have a lot of time on my hands, these days. And to be honest, it scares me.

I’ve been going at a frenetic pace for so so long, that to have this time, this idle, unpoken-for time, feels wasteful.

And wasting time is NOT OK. It’s synonymous with lazy, right?

So I’ve been feeling guilty, for feeling wasteful.

But today, as I sat with a friend (who also finds herself with lots of time on her hands), we dissected and discussed and engaged in a lively back and forth about how lost we feel, and how much of a bummer it is, to have all this time that we’re wasting.

We looked back on the most recent, busy, fruitful season of our lives, and in comparison, these days look just plain lazy.

And we’re afraid we’re missing it, whatever the “IT” is.

And that scares me.

So I’m living scared. I didn’t realize it. But I’m existing paralyzed.

Then Isaiah 43:18-19 came to mind:

“Do not call to mind the former things,

Or ponder things of the past.

19 Behold, I will do something new,

Now it will spring forth;

Will you not be aware of it?

I will even make a roadway in the wilderness,

Rivers in the desert.”

That’s God talking, right there. Reminding me to leave the past where it belongs, to just stop. Do you notice that He not only says to stop pondering the past, but He says He WILL DO something new? How exciting!! What is it? Tell me, shout it in my ear, show me a picture, reveal the mystery, open the door! I want to SEE!

But wait.

Four times He says He WILL. 

And that’s not now. It’s later.

So while I can rest on the promise of “I will,” I can’t know the new thing right now. 

Which brings me right back to today, with long minutes and hours, and feeling like I’m wasting time.

BUT WAIT. Is that not what He is asking me to do, right now? Stop peering into the past, trust Him for the future, and just WAIT.

Is waiting wasting time? My flesh tells me yes. My God tells me no. Who will I believe?

Wasteful waiting?

How about extravagant lingering.

Wow. Wasteful = extravagant. Waiting = lingering. They’re synonyms – I looked it up.

How about Excessive Abiding? Fantastic Continuing?

Absurdly Constant?

Do those phrases strike you as oh so different from wasteful waiting?

And I am humbled, stricken even, as I realize what a pity party I’ve been having without even knowing it. 

And how arrogant that really is.


I realize that I can choose. To thankfully, joyously, hopefully, fantastically, absurdly linger. 

And the funny thing is, I still have all that time on my hands. But I am suddenly as sure as the day is long that I WILL NOT MISS IT. How could I miss a roadway opening up in the wilderness? Or a river appearing in the desert? I won’t. 

Not if I’m abiding, excessively, in Jesus. 

This time I have, today? I spent it with Jesus, with a friend, with my daughter, cleaning my house, reading a book, cleaning off the office shelves, planning dinner, potty training my dog, getting a pedicure, all the while pondering these things. I found a cool book of prayer poems, and had a lovely conversation with an awesome lady at a new-to-us restaurant.

But I DO NOT believe it was a waste. God doesn’t waste my time. 

So ok, I can’t see. I can’t hear. And of course I still wish I could. But I CAN quit beating myself up. And refuse to feel guilty. And be thankful that I have been given this gift of time.

This extravagant lingering.



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