Taking a Long, Leisurely Visit

The three hours passed like three minutes. As lunch with my friend drew to a close, we set our next date. We set that routine years ago after we met at work and then parted to new destinations. Every few months we reconnect over a long, leisurely lunch.

And while we’re together, I can count on my friend’s focused attention on me and our conversation. If her cell phone rings she doesn’t answer it. Errands to run? She doesn’t rush to do them. An evening engagement? She still doesn’t hurry away to get ready.

With her undivided attention and for however long lunch takes, my friend crowns me the MIP — Most Important Person.

In contrast, I must confess that I have not always followed my friend’s example. More than once I interrupted one conversation for another by dashing to answer a ringing phone. More than once over dinner with my husband, I put my cell phone on vibrate only to stop mid-sentence moments later at its attention-grabbing buzz and answer a text message.

My short attention span sometimes applied to situations as well. My mind watched for the next extraordinary thing to tackle while I performed the “ordinary.” I marked time with one activity until something new came along and caught my fancy. I laughed at the not-so-funny-now words that once tumbled out of mouth, “Let’s hurry up and go, so we can get back!” 😦

As I waved good-bye to my friend, I understood better the Holy Spirit’s point earlier in the week.

It was a throw-away verse really. Not the main point of the story, but Paul’s words said much about his character and the value he placed on each of his churches, regardless of size, status or behavior. Paul wrote to the Corinthians from Ephesus, and said,

I don’t want to just ‘drop by’ in between other primary destinations. I want a good, long leisurely visit. (1 Corinthians 16:7, The Message)

So, as my friend drove away, I knew what I needed to give up for Lent. Though a few days late in getting started, I would give up distractions that lured me from in-the-present. Whether with people or situations, rather than brush through lightly on my way to bigger, better, or more important destinations, I will linger for long leisurely visits wherever I am. How long? As long as it takes.

©2013 Gloria Ashby. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail.

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About Gloria Ashby

I'm a writer, speaker and teacher. I live with my husband in the DFW area, and close to our daughter and her family.
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