Sometimes our lives are busier than they need to be.  We aren’t always good at sorting out the valuables from the clutter.  In the hodgepodge of daily-life, it seems that everything on our plate is of equal importance. But everything on my daily to-do list is not of equal importance.  If bad news struck your life later this week, it wouldn’t take too long to discover what’s truly important.

Some things are musts. Other things can wait.  Mary Magdalene understood this.  Sure, she had to brush her teeth and splash her face. She had her circle of acquaintances who were always texting or messaging her – or the equivalent in that day. There were the sales at the market and birthday parties to attend.  But when it came to Christ – He was her single priority in life.

After everyone went home from the Cross and the stone had been rolled to the sepulcher – where was Mary Magdalene?

And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock. And he rolled a great stone to the entrance of the tomb and went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb. (Matthew 27:59-61)

Can you picture her sitting down, in a mourning position, with her eyes fixed on the big stone that now sealed the tomb? What was she doing? Others quickly left for their homes – but the curtain falls on that day with the poignant scene of this devoted woman and her friend sitting over against the sepulcher.  It seems that Mary Magdalene, whose dark past had been totally changed by Christ, just sat there, lingering and cherishing sweet memories of the Man who transformed her life.

On Sunday morning, before there was a hint of morning sunbeams, she was up and off to the tomb. She was the one to discover the rolled away stone. John tells the rest of the story. After he and Peter left the empty tomb and returned to their homes, Mary Magdalene lingered outside in the Garden – all alone.  It seems she was totally absorbed with her thoughts of Christ. Her tears flowed.

Had she been in a rush, or had she failed to linger a little while longer, she would have missed that special word “MARY!” from that special voice. She would have missed the opportunity to respond with “RABBONI!”  or “My Great One” or “My Great Teacher!” (John 20:16) Lingering to see Him pays off!

Maybe you’re thinking: “Yeah, but …. society is moving much faster today; none of us have time to spiritually linger. I don’t like the rat race but if I don’t keep pace, I’ll lose the race.” Which race are you trying to win? Which race are you afraid of losing?

Are you trapped in your own thinking and the thinking of your peers? Do you really believe that 2017 offers no time for you to linger in His Presence?

“There’s just no time. Finding a couple of minutes to grab a verse or two, as I gobble down my cereal, is about as good as it gets! Lingering sounds a bit romantic to me – if not idealistic. But, it’s not realistic. It’s a luxury this age does not offer those of us who are trying to get ahead.”

It’s strange that we know how to linger when we are saying ‘good night’ to the person we are dating.  Some take forever to say goodbye online. Others have no problem lingering to see the final score – even if it means overtime.

Think about this: there is a strong connection between lingering and love. We linger for what we love.  (Sorry about the underlining.) Lot lingered in Sodom – stayed there as long as he could. The angels had to drag him out. (Genesis 19:16)

Boethia Thompson wrote:

Jesus, Lord, I’m never weary
Looking on Thy Cross and shame;
Gazing there I seem so near Thee,
Dear to me each throb of pain.
Ever near Thee,
Lingering here I would remain.

Walk carefully and closely with the Lord today.

Warmly in Christ
Peter Ramsay

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