Today, a six-year old told me something. He was playing a video game, and I was watching. After blasting all the aliens on the third level, Adam put down the controls and looked at me with his clear blue eyes.
He said, "My mom thinks five minutes is really short. I think five minutes is a long time. You have to count to sixty for five times to get five minutes. You can blast a lot of aliens in five minutes. I don't know why Mom thinks five minutes is short." His attention then returned to the screen and the aliens.
You can do a lot of things in five minutes. You can tell someone you love them, you can write a letter, read the last chapter of a book, or sketch a stick figure on a napkin. You could probably change the world in five minutes if you knew just what to do. You can do a lot of things in that time, and we forget that too often.
I'm beginning to understand, though, why those five minutes are also short: Some day we'll run out of five minutes; it's one of those things that we have a limited supply of. At the end of our life, many of us will look back and say, "Life went by too fast, I wish I could have . . . instead of . . .".
We need to figure out how to make all of our five minutes(es) matter.
At the end of my life, I don't want to have simply trudged through forty-five years of work. I want to have lived the life God intends me to live. I want to have filled all of my five minutes(es) with joy and pain, and grace and love.
It scares me, how fast time goes. With so much road left before me, I'm afraid I'll keep looking out in the distance and forget to look five feet in front of me. I'm afraid that one day I'll look back on my life and say, "I wish I had lived in the five minutes that were present, instead of clamoring for the next ones." In looking always to the future (or to the past), we endanger the possibilities of the present.
If we write off such a short time as five minutes and say that it is too short to do something with that matters, then we fail. We have five minutes. We have the five minutes that are ticking by right now.
We need desperately to remember how long such a short period is, and how much can be done in it.
After all, you have to count all the way to sixty for five whole times in order to get five minutes. That's a long time...
[If this makes no sense, it's probably because I'm exhausted. I really felt like posting something though, after being gone such a long time. So bear with me, and know that I know you probably at some point in reading that said to yourself, "Yeah, but...". I said that too.]