To Wait is not the same as To Tarry

Wait, tarry imply pausing to linger and thereby putting off further activity until later.

  • Wait usually implies staying for a limited time and for a definite purpose, that is, for something expected: to wait for a train.

  • Tarry is a somewhat archaic word for wait, but it suggests lingering, perhaps aimlessly delaying, or pausing (briefly) in a journey: to tarry on the way home; to tarry overnight at an inn.

As part of the Los Angeles public transit culture, I have learned how to wait. Every weekday morning, I wait in the dark, with the intent of riding two buses to work. Nearly every weekday evening, I wait, usually in the sun, with the intent of riding two buses home. I can wait like a champ–most of the time.

On the other hand, my ability to tarry is inadequate. The “most of the time” mentioned above reveals this deficiency: As difficult as it is to wait, to tarry is more difficult still. Tarrying requires a certain comfort with self and circumstance, a willingness to rest. I can do this infrequently: I expect over ten years of education has developed a drive to fill the available space. If I have nothing to read or write on my bus rides, I feel a bit anxious.

I think this is unhealthy. The remaining problem is how to heal.

How do you tarry?

About Laura

My name is Laura and I am on a journey, pondering the implications of God's glorious design of humanity and integrating every aspects of this design into a description of whole life health.
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