Good evening dear reader & welcome to my world for another week. As I write my next article to you it seems only a few days ago since the last weekend & the celebration of a Tasman Mako win over Canterbury weekend. It is likely you also have quickly moved on to the next “thing”. But I want to challenge you to not move on too quickly. I am sure there are some stories & God moments from the past weekend worth lingering over.
I believe we need to do a better job with the discipline of loitering. We are good at fast, quick, action, production &, acceleration. This is just the reality of the world we live in & it is not going to change. What I am advocating is along the way in your busy, demanding, fast-paced world, you learn the discipline of lingering, loitering, & staying in the moment.
There was a recent article in a journal I read somewhere which talked about attitudes & stress. Do you know what they found was the number one stress reliever? Want to guess? It was not gratitude & it was not joy. It was AWE. Loitering is a wonderful way to experience more “AWE” in your life.
Michael Barnett, the CEO of Auckland Chamber of Commerce said as much at the luncheon I went to today, Thursday 23rd. Words like acknowledge, believe, courage to change the things you can, meditation & mindfulness were just some of the adjectives I recall.
I do not think it is a stretch to say lingering is the completion of an experience. And lingering is usually followed by awe & gratitude. Maybe the reason there is not much awe & gratitude in the lives of people is because there is not much lingering.
Lingering helps me to slow down, to deeply experience. Honestly I am not very good at this. My default mode is to quickly move back into the world of productivity, tasks, projects & lists.
To taste something, as I did today, is to experience & enjoy it. I am sure you have had the experience of being in a hurry at mealtime & scoffing down your meal & never really stopping to taste & enjoy. You just inhaled, not enjoyed. You simply swallowed. The same thing can be true in our lives. We can move so fast we forget to take time to enjoy.
The challenge to “remember” or “think” or “meditate” is an invitation to loiter.
What unexpected gift do you need to linger over today? Maybe it was a teachable moment or a beautiful sunset or a rich conversation with a good friend over a great cup of coffee.
Why is this so hard for us? Our first inclination is to blame the noisy & busy world around us. But I believe there is a more fundamental issue. The problem is not just a noisy world, but a noisy soul. I need to slow down & train myself to be more inclined to linger over moments of “awe”.
Think of the most beautiful site you have ever seen? Seriously, what comes to mind? For me, it can as simple as stopping on an autumn day between Nelson & Blenheim, before Havelock, after the Whangamoas hills & watch the leaves dissipate into the river. I saw the beauty clearly. My sight was accurate & unobstructed but something was going on inside me beyond truth & accuracy & information. I was moved emotionally & drawn to what I was seeing. I had to pause & just sit in “awe”.
Lingering does not just allow me to see clearly, but is also allows me to see. Let me challenge you today to linger over these words from Leighton Ford. When you learn to pay attention, he says:
“You will see things you have not seen.
You will be more fully alive.
You will experience life in its depths.
You will be more rooted, less rushed.
You will be a more whole & loving person.
You will live before you die.”
Thank you for taking the time to be with me once again. I hope my journey may encourage you also. This is Kenn Butler in Paradise, Nelson, with my best wishes for the weekend ahead. I look forward to being with you all again next week.