According to Dictionary.com “dwell” can have a few different meanings:
1. to live or stay as a permanent resident; reside.
2.to live or continue in a given condition or state:
3.to linger over, emphasize, or ponder in thought, speech, or writing (often followed by on or upon):
to dwell on a particular point in an argument.
4.(of a moving tool or machine part) to be motionless for a certain interval during operation.
- a flat or cylindrical area on a cam for maintaining a follower in a certain position during part of a cycle.
- a period in a cycle in the operation of a machine or engine during which a given part remains motionless.
As a verb, dwell means to live, stay, linger, ponder, or be motionless. As a noun, dwell refers to a certain amount of time where you either remain motionless in a cycle or an area where a follower is maintained in a certain position.
I like both versions of the word for different reasons. For example the picture I chose today says “dwell in hope”. This is simple to explain just using the verb. You are to live in hope. Stay in hope. Linger in hope. Ponder hope. Be motionless in hope.
But it’s pretty cool to think about dwell as a noun. The second definition of dwell as a noun would make me read “dwell in hope” like a command for a certain amount of time: “this is a time where you must remain motionless in hope”. But what I really find wild is the first definition about maintaining a ‘follower’ in a certain position.
When you talk about Christianity, “follower” is pretty commonplace. I am a “follower” of Christ. But what if I saw this definition of dwell as God maintaining me, causing me to be motionless, ponder, linger, live, and stay in hope–to stay in a position of hopefulness–He maintains us in a certain position during part of a cycle. That could be a season of life. He keep us in a certain position during parts of our lives–to dwell–not with bitterness, confusion, or worry but in hope.
I did some research on Wikipedia because I’m a visual learner and this is what it looks like to dwell:
“A dwell mechanism is an intermittent motion mechanism that alternates forward and return motion with holding position”. One type of dwell is called a “cam” and two things stuck out at me: 1
. “A special case of this cam is constant lead, where the position of the follower is linear”
2. A cam is a rotating or sliding piece in a mechanical linkage used especially in transforming rotary motion into linear motion.
Sounds fancy but what it sounds like is that if I am a dwell mechanism I am moving forward (linear) whereas if Jesus is the cam He is in constant lead and making the action of the motion possible. Furthermore God is the rotating sliding piece–and He takes my rotary motion–or the fact that I as a follower am circling Him–am in orbit of Him–and then transforms that into linear motion. In short because I am in orbit of Him where He goes I go and where do I go? I go forward. If I dwell in hope I dwell in God. If I profess to be a “follower” I trust that God is in constant lead and my position is certain.
Photo from: Etsy.com