I stood in the lobby and pushed the elevator button to go up to our tenth-floor hotel room. Several people soon joined me, and we chatted about the beautiful day while waiting for the elevator to arrive. When a few more minutes passed, I pulled out my phone to occupy myself. The wait continued, and I began to wonder if I should climb the stairs instead…

Most likely you have been in similar situations. When is the right time to try another option? Obviously, I find that the higher my destination, the more time I’ll give the elevator. The longer my wait (and the greater my frustration), the more I’ll consider climbing the stairs. There eventually comes that one threshold of time and effort, when I’m compelled to move and get on with my plans for the day.

Recently I’ve reflected on these elevator moments and the destinations I hope to reach in my life. I have a few dreams and goals I’d like to pursue but, like standing before the elevator doors, I’m often willing to wait. I’m willing to wait for an additional confirmation, or a more convenient time, or the completion of other obligations. I’m willing to wait if I believe there’s an easier way coming, especially for the greater challenges. Yet, as more time passes, the greater urgency I feel.

The difference is that this waiting doesn’t keep me from getting on with my day. If I’m unsure of my next steps, I can busy myself with other projects or other routines to pass the time (such as chatting or looking at my phone 🙂 ). If I doubt my stamina for the journey, I can continue along the same level ground. If I assure myself that a better, proper time will be here soon, I can remain very patient. If I’m content in other areas, I can dwell in this feeling of anticipation and hope for quite some time.

I am apt to linger too long. 

Today I find an invitation to be more mindful in these “elevator moments” of life; to choose to…

enter the stairwell a little sooner – just to try the first few steps,
recognize that the stairs may be more difficult but also more certain,
understand that time is more precious than ease,
find that the effort is a gift of growth, too.

May I learn to regard all of life as an adventure to be explored, find the pursuit as worthy as the goal, understand that mistakes are also lessons, and trust that God goes with me – even into the stairwell.

Photo by Russ Ward on Unsplash. Thank you!

One Comment on “TO LINGER TOO LONG

  1. Some say my life has been a song
    with too many verses,
    and I’ve lingered far too long,
    and that means the curse is
    that others feel they have to care
    for the life I still possess,
    and would prefer I were not there
    in the smoke and in the mess
    which implies the rule of fate
    on their self-deterministic days;
    way to much upon the plate,
    and they therefore look for ways
    to blind themselves to my existence
    in the face of my persistence.


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