When I was a kid, I loved going on sleepovers. It was about the whispered sharing of secrets and stories by torchlight while snuggled in sleeping bags. It was about gorging ourselves on junk food. It was about movie marathons and video game tournaments.

It was definitely about not having any grown-ups around.

But it was more than that. It was a reflection of friendship. I did not want a sleepover with just anybody. I wanted a sleepover with my best friends. I wanted to be at their houses all the time. I wanted the sleepover to last more than one night. I wanted it to last forever.

I wanted it to last forever.

The same goes with God.

It wasn’t always that way. I used to think of church as a drag. I did not read my Bible very often (or at all) outside of church. I could not understand the way some people talked about God. To me, God was distant and unreachable.

But once I met him – the real Jesus – not just a great historical figure or mystical healer, but a tangible presence – everything changed. And I did not just meet Jesus at church. I met him in my bedroom, at friends’ houses, on the school bus – in fact, I met him everywhere.

Once I met him — the real Jesus – everything changed.

And I could not get enough of him.

I became rapidly unsatisfied with the amount of praise and worship at church. I wanted more of God. I wanted to be with him, to linger in his presence, to enjoy his company. I did not want the sweet communion to stop.

Just like a sleepover, I did not want my time with God to end.

Yet we are often tempted to move on to the next thing after worship or prayer. We thank God and then get on with the meal. We sing a few songs and then get on with the sermon. We worship him and then forget all about him.

I do not want God’s presence to become a consumable.

I do not want God’s presence to become a consumable.

His presence in my life is precious. Nothing compares to the ecstasy of his presence. And once I am there, ushered into his almost tangible company, I want to stay there. I want to bask in the light of his countenance.

I want to linger.

Linger is about remaining unhurriedly in God’s presence. It is about slowing down, pausing before moving on to the next thing, staying a little longer. It is about finding rest in him. It is about loitering, savouring the sweetness of the moment.

I want to linger.

May we ever walk with him in the light of his presence.

Lord, teach us to linger.

Do you have moments of lingering with God? What helps you to stay in God’s presence, no matter where you are? Share your story. Let’s have a countercultural conversation.

2 thoughts on “Linger

  1. For me, lingering with God and wanting to stay in HIs presence is a desire that has grown over time and and with age – as I begin to ‘mature’ the desire to rush into a busy day is much less appealing. Lockdown was wonderful, because as life slowed down, the opportunities to have unhurried time with God increased.

    • Valmai, what a beautiful thought. That is a true silver lining of COVID-19, having that unhurried time with God. I think you are right: our general pace has really slowed down during this pandemic. Praise God for it.

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