a time to tarry
The word ‘tarry’ has crossed my path on more than one occasion. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines tarry as, “to linger in expectation: wait; to abide or stay in or at a place.” I fear this word or mindset is something we have lost over the years. While going through boxes of old pictures I found a shoebox full of pictures from my backpacking trips. One particular picture is taken of a place called MacAfee’s Knob on the Appalachian Trail in Virginia. It is arguably the most breathtaking vista I have had the privilege of experiencing.
While I was there soaking in the view and enjoying my lunch a guy came bursting out of the trees, whipped out his disposable camera, snapped a quick picture, then raced down the trail. I later found out from other thru hikers he was putting 30-35 mile days in an effort to hike the trail as fast as he could. Tragic. He may complete the trail, I don’t know if he did or not, in a blazing time but he is missing the opportunity to soak in the beauty of where he is hiking. He is not taking the time to tarry.
This is an unfortunate habit that has pervaded all of life. I think particularly of our Christian life. Too often we are too busy or have too much on our plate to take time to tarry, to abide in one place and sit at the feet of our Lord. I think more specifically reading His word. We open up our bible, power through a chapter or two maybe even three, then get on with our day. Or perhaps we have determined to read the bible in a year. There is nothing wrong with that but if we do not take the time to tarry, to stay in one place and allow the Spirit to speak to us through a particular passage, then we miss an opportunity to enjoy the beauty of what the Lord wants to say to us through His word.
I often wondered if that hiker remembers anything from his trip. In your day to day living stop and see the Lord in it. Do not be in such a rush you fail to miss His presence. In your reading did you hear God speak? Did you give Him opportunity? While I do not discourage reading through the bible in a year I want to encourage you to take time to tarry. I want you to read a particular chapter or passage for a few days, a week, or whatever you feel prompted, and allow the Spirit to reveal to you the beauty of what that passage is saying. Today, take time to tarry.
Be Blessed and Be a Blessing
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Rob Jeffrey, Pastor - Bradford Alliance Church