So it is officially fall in Buena Vista. There may be five more days before the calendar declares this season’s arrival, but there are trees that are completely yellow here, our mornings are crisp (like “turn up the heat in the car” crisp) and the breeze in the air sends colored leaves floating down to the ground.
Fall and routine belong together. Kids are back to school, work schedules are made more regular, vacations have wrapped up, and those lazy, warm days are quickly disappearing leaving agendas in its place.
I jump into the routine with both feet. 6:00 the alarm goes off. 6:10 breakfast is started. 7:00 husband is out the door. Each day has its own set of tasks and jobs; my days quickly fill up. We work hard from morning to night, and fall into bed exhausted every night.
But something isn’t quite clicking with the schedule this year. I’m reluctant to leave those warm days. I miss the slower pace; I am hungry for stillness and for calm and for long days when sunlight pours into each hour. Summer is lingering in my heart while fall tries to push its way in.
Is there a way I can have both? Does the crisp air always mean I am forced into the frantic regime of a filled calendar? Is there a way my soul can still linger even as the months move past summer? Do these autumn days always have to be tied to busyness?
The things that fill my calendar are good things. They are the tasks I’ve been appointed to, the work my hands must do. The things that fill your day are also good things. It is right to work and to labor and to make the most of our time. But I’m desperate to make this season not only be about what I accomplish, what I achieve. This fall I’m making loitering apart of my days.
Search “synonyms for loiter” on google and some beautiful words appear.
Take one’s time.
Do you know the definition of amble? It is to walk at a slow, relaxed pace, especially for pleasure. That is a word I want to be used to describe my journey. I want to amble my way through this fall.
When Moses encountered God in the middle of a burning bush he was told to take off his shoes. The ground was holy. The soles of this man’s feet were to make direct contact with the earth below. He was to let the holiness make direct contact with his body.
Maybe we should all take our shoes off this fall. Maybe we should amble through our days barefoot. Because when you’re shoeless you move slow. You move careful.
These fall days are not meant to be a wild obstacle race from one job to another, from one appointment to the next, from soccer practice to ballet class to getting dinner on the table. These days are to be a journey on holy ground.
They are made for holy loitering.
“Most of our lives we are so busy with other things that we don’t have time to wait patiently to hear the voice of the God of Jesus within us. An appointment with the barber or hairdresser is inviolable, but when God lays claim to our time, we balk. For everything else we have plenty of leisure time. Have you lost the desire for holy loitering?” –Brennan Manning
There could be nothing that would better fill our fall days than being still before God. There’s no agenda superior to the one that leaves room for leisurely communion with Christ.
Take a walk. Sip your coffee slow. Let the breeze blow through your hair. Laugh long. Breathe deep.
It is not a competition to see who can get to Christmas break the most frazzled, worn out, and “accomplished”. It is not a challenge to see how many reminders for events and meetings and appointments you can have constantly buzzing on your phone. Sit. Be still. Know that God is God.
Hurry will trample over holy.
Take off your shoes and go slow.
Loiter in this holy place.