Signposts: Daily Devotions

Thursday, January 15

O tarry and await the Lord’s pleasure; be strong, and he shall comfort your heart; wait patiently for the Lord.
—Psalm 27:18

When was the last time you used the word tarry in conversation, or even in correspondence? “I have tarried here at the table, waiting for you to come.” “I will tarry until I hear from you.” I have NEVER used the word, but I like it. It doesn’t sound as impatient as waiting, and in fact by definition it is not. To tarry means to remain or stay, to sojourn, even to loiter.  What a lovely way to anticipate a person or event.

We need to tarry more. One of the worst byproducts of our over-stimulated culture is impatience; when things don’t move quickly, we become angry. When we wait for people or planes or even service in a restaurant, we feel entitled to promptness.  What a gift it is to conquer that impatience, that sense of entitlement, and to learn to tarry!!

Lin Yutang (1895-1976) wrote, “If you can spend a perfectly useless afternoon in a perfectly useless manner, you have learned how to live.” How would my life be different if I could stop trying to accomplish so much? Or to be so important to so many people? Do I have the courage to simply STOP and BE?

What a delicious idea, to tarry and await the Lord’s pleasure…to be perfectly still in a sunny room or on a porch and look around me….to walk in the woods and listen to the leaves crunch underfoot, to feel the breeze kiss my face. 

Gracious God, slow us down, calm our minds, lighten our sense of importance and entitlement. Help us to tarry, and to await your pleasure. Amen.