Practicing the art of lingering

It's a snow day - and it completely renders my desire to do any work as unpalatable. So, I decided that today I would practice sauntering, lingering and frolicking. There is an edge of "guilt" to this - sometimes a fuzzy line between my lingering and laziness. Perhaps on this quest to become proficient as a "lingerer" I will have to unlearn the cultural admonitions regarding always working hard (and constant) to produce, amass, and feel accomplished. Who defines that anyway? So an unguilting needs to take place - I imagine it will come with practice.

Being a lingerer in a world full of bustling festinaters feels awkward - there is both internal and external friction to lingering - a contrariety between what is considered and expected as the "norm" of our work days and what we were originally created for. I bet Adam and Eve did a lot of sauntering, lingering and frolicking with God in the garden. Introduce sin - introduce guilt and blaming and hiding and rushing and agitation.

I imagine heaven being a place of sauntering, lingering and frolicking - that's why it feels so pertinent to practice it here. How can I integrate these three verbs into this day? Perhaps it's just as easy as choosing a "guilt-free" half hour on my schedule dedicated to nothing in particular except that which presents itself. Start by sauntering, which often leads to lingering, which often leads to a heart-full frolic (which in Latin (or old German?) means to rejoice/exult!) And one should never feel guilty doing something that leads to rejoicing right?

If Sauntering and Lingering and Frolicking lead to rejoicing - and we are to "Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say Rejoice" - then natural reverse logic says, "Saunter in the Lord always, and again I say saunter. Linger in the Lord always, and again I say linger. Frolic in the Lord always and again I say, frolic."

I know - probably too much liberty with that Biblical admonition. But how often I hear people say, "How am I supposed to choose joy? Do I just recite happy Bible verse until they sink in?" Well - perhaps. But what if rejoicing had little to do with words, indeed, what if rejoicing happens wordlessly as we saunter, linger, admire (Latin ad = near or towards; mirari = to wonder) and respond with a capriolic frolic.

Finding it hard to rejoice?
Slow down to a saunter.
Lean into linger.
Find time to frolic -
and somewhere along the way, you will find yourself rejoicing!

Paula GambleComment