Monday, February 27, 2012

THE LINGER FACTOR

Influence takes time. Friendships take time.  There's no fast track to either.  I've been reminded lately, however, that they both come from one simple discipline I often fail to do:  Linger.

  • Linger means not being the first one to their car when the soccer game is done or church service is over.
  • Linger means planning enough time between meetings so you can talk to the Barista or say hi to that couple in the booth next to you.
  • Linger means you don't bury your head in your cell phone in the side of a room waiting for the "official" stuff to start.  Linger means you hang out being available, asking God to show you needs, and having conversations.
  • Linger means you have no agenda.  No hurry and a few minutes to "waste".  Linger feels unproductive, lazy, and sometimes even boring.  
But make no mistake about it, there is power in Linger.  My best conversations as of late, my greatest influence, and even my deepest regrets have come out of moments where I lingered or failed to linger and rushed onto the next thing instead.  I can tell you this, I don't know anyone at my seminary because I intentionally never linger.  Never.  When class is over, I grab my bags and my keys and head for my car and straight to family or work.

I'm headed to the Simply Youth Ministry Conference this week in Louisville and I promise you...  my best conversations, friendships, and moments will come out of times where I lingered in open spaces and was interruptible.  

Maybe it's time to Slow Down.  Plan some breathing time. Be present and aware. Invite God to show you conversations to have and hugs to give.  And LINGER.  

2 comments:

Andy Blanks 10:59 AM  

Great word, Brian. So powerful, and in the midst of our business, so hard at times . . . Thanks for the reminder!

Adrian Waller 1:54 PM  

I'm not a good lingerer, personally. I always feel like I'm keeping someone somewhere when I do, but I do appreciate when people linger for me, so I guess it's not as burdensome as it first appears.

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San Diego, CA
Husband. Dad. Jesus Follower. Friend. Learner. Athlete. Soccer coach. Reader. Builder. Dreamer. Pastor. Communicator. Knucklehead.

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