"I grew up in the African American Baptist religious tradition in New Orleans. One of the historic and beloved features of my spiritual home is the talkback between congregation and minister during the preaching moment. Some liturgical-dialogical expressions are more common than others; one of the most familiar from pew to pulpit is 'Take your time.'

" 'Take your time' has multiple meanings depending upon the state of the sermon. A congregant seeking a deeper understanding may be urging the preacher to elaborate more, to furnish added information. Or, it is possible that the preacher is talking too fast and the expression 'take your time' means 'slow down.'

"There is a third possibility. Sometimes, preachers talk upon just the right words at just the right time. 'Take your time' in this context means that what the preacher is saying is hitting home, meeting a need. 'Take your time' is a request for time to savor the portion given and a signal that a 'second helping' (repeating a thought or phrase) would be appreciated.

"There are unique moments, tasks, respites that should not be hurried. On the contrary, due to the special offering they hold for us, such experiences ought to be slowed more intentionally and deliberately. Be on the lookout for those things when you should — and more than you normally would — 'take your time'.”