Down To The Second

Something strange happened to me last night.

I walked into the kitchen and looked at the microwave clock.  It said 11:04pm.

But then I noticed the oven clock.  It said 11:00pm.

Curious, I looked at my watch.  It said the time was 10:59pm.

Intrigued, I pulled out my cellphone.  It said it was 11:02.

4 different time pieces.  4 different times.

What in the world was going on?  Had I been sucked into a time vortex?

You know, in the movies, when spies are about to pull off some covert mission?  They stand in a circle and hold out their wrists and synchronize their watches down to the exact second.  I always kind of liked that notion, that time could be so dependable and exact.

But I have all kinds of time-telling devices in my life, and I doubt any of them are perfectly synced with each other.  Is that okay?

I went to the Bible, curious to see what the scriptures say about keeping time.   There are lots and lots of passages referring to the words “time”, “day”, and “hour”, but do you know how many passages mention “minutes” or “seconds”?

None!  None that I could find anyway.

And I suppose that makes sense.   People back then weren’t wearing wristwatches, nor did they have microwave clocks (or microwaves).

The idea of living with such precision–down to the second–would have been quite foreign to them.   And still, they managed to keep important dates, make plans, etc.

Today we have clocks with radio signals so they stay perfectly in time with the “official time”.  And cellphones keep their time through their cell towers.  There are programs and websites you can access offering 100% accuracy when it comes to time.

I suppose that’s kind of cool, but truthfully?

I’ve decided that living in my own little time vortex is kind of nice.   It reminds me that I don’t have to be “on the clock” all the time.  I don’t have to plan my life down to the last second.

There’s give and take in life.  Room to breathe.  A couple minutes of wiggle room here and there keep me from feeling like a prisoner to time.

Time may relentlessly continue to march forward, but I choose to march…

to the beep of my own microwave.

Have a great week,

Mitch

FullSizeRender

25 one-minute faith fixes

A lot can happen in a minute.

If your faith feels a little faded today, try one of these quick fixes and reconnect with God.

1.  See the sky

1. outside

  If you’ve been cooped up inside all day, give yourself a glimpse at the sky.  Feel the wind on your face.
Remember that the Holy Spirit is present.

2.  Give yourself a temporary tattoo

4. tattoo

Really!  Take a pen and make the tiny sign of a cross or fish (ichthus) on your hand.
Every time you look at it today, you’ll remember Jesus.

3.  Remember your baptism

13. baptism

Use the drinking fountain or a sink.  Just wet your fingers and then make the sign of the cross on your forehead.
You are blessed and made clean by God!

4.  Go Green

16. green

 A potted plant, the tree outside the window, a flower, a weed — it doesn’t much matter.
Being in the presence of life like this points you towards the one who gives it.

5. Laugh.

laugh

 Make a joke, watch a Youtube video, remember your favorite episode of Seinfeld.
Every time you laugh your body, mind, and soul get a little healthier.

6.  Do this quick guided imagery

17. chest

Take 3 deep breaths.  Close your eyes and picture the following, using your imagination to add detail:
You are in a giant hall.  God is there, with you.  In front of you is an ornate chest.
You hear God’s voice telling you that there’s something specifically for you, today, inside the chest.
Open it.  What do you see?

7.  Donate for free with the click of a mouse.

14 greater

Visit Greatergood.com and with the click of a mouse, you can help
support veterans, rainforests, orphaned animals, and much more.  See for yourself!

 8. Invite someone to church

11. invite

What?  In a minute?  Why not!
We spend more time fretting about inviting people than it takes to actually do it.
Ask a co-worker. Send someone an email.  You’ll feel good to have reached out.

9. Strive for silence

silence

Take a minute and simply be in the presence of God.  What the heck.  Take two.

10.  Look at your hand

hand_down

Look at the lines on your palm.  Your fingerprints.  The color of your skin.
You are a unique being, and you are fearfully and wonderfully made.

11.  Pray for someone in particular

25 pray

It could be anyone.  It could even be yourself.  The person you pray for doesn’t have to be sick, even.
But for one concentrated minute, you are channeling your spiritual energy in praying God’s blessing upon them.

12.  Memorize a Bible verse

6. memorize

In one minute, you can commit a simple Bible verse to memory.
Visit http://ministry-to-children.com/easy-bible-verses/ and you’ll find 10 simplified verses you can pick up easily.

13. Tell someone “I love you”

3. i love you

Who do you need say those 3 magic words to today?  Giving love to someone else helps you to feel it too.

14. Light a candle

1111 flame

There’s nothing like a simple flame to point us to the presence of the Holy Spirit.

15.  Remember your communion

21 Communion

We have the opportunity to take communion all the time — but not necessarily right this moment.
So take a moment and remember the bread and the cup, and what they mean for you and your life.
The love of Christ is still nourishing you — even now.

 16.  Pet your pet or kid with your kid

2. dog kid

The innocence of animals and children is like a giant arrow pointing towards God.
Call up a few fond memories and smile in God’s direction.

17.  Draw Creation

24. creation

I’ll bet you can draw the story of creation in one minute.  No time for perfection here–just sketch it out fast:
The Sun and the stars.  The sky and the water and the land.  The birds and the fishes and the animals and the humans.
Remind yourself of the grandness of God’s gifts.
And don’t forget to put God’s pronouncement on there somewhere:  IT WAS VERY GOOD.

18.  Confess

23. confess

You don’t have to carry guilt around a minute longer.
Don’t beat around the bush — just lay it out there for God to take from you, and ask for forgiveness.
And then, read this:
“Christ died for us while we were yet sinners.  That proves God’s love for us.
In the name of Jesus Christ, You are forgiven!”

19.  Hum Amazing Grace

14. amazing-grace_t

Or sing it, if you’re where you can.  Think of how many millions of believers had sung these same words and felt the same Grace.
You are not alone.

20.  Listen to the World.

12. listen to world

The world can be a noisy place, and we tend to block out a lot of ambient noise.
Take a minute, though, and really listen:  The car driving by, the hum of the refrigerator, distant footsteps.
You are called to be part of life’s symphony.

21.  Picture God’s arms around you

7. arms

I frequently share this idea in situations where people are feeling pain or loss,
but really, when wouldn’t God be holding you?  It’s not just an idea…it’s really true.

22.  Recite the Lord’s prayer

10. lord's prayer

This prayer is designed to align us with God’s Kingdom.
Pray it with the confidence and hope of a believer.

23.  put on the armor of God

22. armor

You are a member of the Body of Christ, and an ambassador of the Kingdom of God.  That means you are connected with the powerful Love of God and even able to use it in your life.  When conflict, abuse, or trials come, don’t forget that.

24.  Put a problem in your God box.

20 god-box

My wife does this, and swears it helps.  It’s based on some writings from Anne Lamott.  If there are problems you just can’t face, put them in your God box, and remind yourself you don’t have to be in control of everything.

25.  Recite the story of the Good Samaritan

19. good samaritan

This is one of those parables many Christians know by heart.
Take 60 seconds and tell yourself the story again.
By the time you’re done you may remember Jesus’ 2nd commandment as well
— to love our neighbors as our self.

There you have it!

It’s as if Jesus himself had walked up behind you, tapped on your shoulder, and asked:

“Got a minute?”

Have a great week,

Mitch