“Mommy, are minutes long?” my young son asked as I directed him to a five-minute timeout. His wiser older brother reassured him that they were short, then turned to me and asked “Are hours long?”
It all depends, doesn’t it? Are minutes long when you have to quit playing in five minutes? Or when you have a five-minute timeout? Are they longer or shorter when you’re browsing YouTube or when you have a pile of dirty dishes to work through? How many clips I go through, while justifying, “Oh, I have time to watch that one. It’s less than five minutes.” However, when I see the dirty dishes, I tend to over-catastrophize the project and shove something else towards the stack and hurry away, rather than take care of at least that one.
My spiritual life can seem the same way at times. I look at my Bible and journal propped up by my bed and think, “Oh, I wish I had time to stop and enjoy some time with Jesus this morning.” It’s easy to be overwhelmed by an entire task or obligation rather than see it in incremental steps.
A stuck mentality often keeps me from succeeding with things that matter. That’s where the idea of a Five Minute Challenge came into play. Five minutes of something, anything. Set a timer, if you want, then begin. Just begin. Even that was questionable in my mind. But I tried it. And you know what? I found that the first five were worth the investment. Just like morning worship this morning. Just like writing this blog post to share with you. It began with five minutes.
What can you begin today with five minutes?
What seems too big?
What are you afraid to tackle?
It is okay if your energy runs out before it is all done to your satisfaction. You did something. You made it through five minutes. That is a worthy start.
I was puttering my way through a mess in the kitchen when the older brother appeared, all dressed to go outside to meet his dad. I looked at the clock. Five minutes until Dad was expected. With a gleam in my eye I turned to him with a challenge. He accepted and those two racks of dishes disappeared into the cupboards before Dad was within sight. The happy momentum continued as little brother finished the silverware tray in only two minutes. With that much done I had the courage to get another load started while he kept me company. We listened to a story and enjoyed some peaceful time together crafting at the kitchen table.
It started with five minutes and a willing attitude.
Consider these Bible promises as jump starts:
For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted
according to what a man has, and not according to what he has not.
2 Corinthians 8:12
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
For it is God who works in you
both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
Texts from KJV 2000 and ESV.