Yesterday I went for a wet and cold 5K run with my friend Drew. That’s nothing new. We are training for a race in March (the Cooper River Bridge Run). I’m used to running in chilly rain after living in the Pacific Northwest for 17 months. I’m not new to training for races and I’m not new to the feeling of having to start over after months of falling off the bandwagon in terms of fitness. Something new did happen yesterday though and it’s that experience/thought I want to share today.
I was able to run for longer distances without changing to a walk. I was able to keep up with Drew’s pace and still carry on a conversation. I found my hip hurting less and my breathing was lighter. I found myself setting goals along the run and I felt much more engaged. I was less aware of what was happening at home (thinking about the kids) and had more space within my mind/heart just to BE. All of that was new. Well maybe not new, as in the sense of I’ve never experienced those things before, but they were new to this season. It was a joy to experience. Even Drew said something during our run. I’m paraphrasing but she said “Something has clicked within you in the last week. You’re different.” That was an encouragement.
What stuck with me though was at the end of our run when we checked our time we were a minute faster. Just one minute. I felt as if I had been pushed and I just knew it was MUCH faster than our previous runs. My first reaction was disappointment that it was simply a minute faster. Then Drew said…”You know Janelle…if I had been just one minute faster in my last race I would have placed.” That really put things into perspective. A minute does make a difference, and not just in running.
I begin to meditate upon that thought as I finished my evening. The importance of 60 seconds…one minute in a lifetime. If I were to live 80 years (not including leap years) I would have roughly 42,075,936 minutes. Yes, I want to increase the speed on my runs, but I certainly don’t want to wish minutes away or waste the precious time I’ve been given.
Trying to get somewhere even one minute faster can result in an accident or speeding ticket. Fire can destroy a house in a minute. This happened yesterday to a friend of mine. Now her world has been changed because of seconds of intense heat and flame. When I go one minute faster in rushing my children out the door before school in the mornings I miss a chance to pray for them, with them, brush my daughter’s hair or help my son zip his jacket. When I sleep one minute later in the mornings I’m too rushed to make pancakes and eggs for breakfast and it’s cereal instead. When I rush the phone call with my mother by one minute it usually means I’ve interrupted her or was too distracted by the noise in my life to really hear. I should have timed my call better. I won’t get that minute back, and there will be a day I long to hear her voice, straining to remember the sound of it.
One minute can make a huge difference in avoiding a meltdown with my autistic son, Joseph. He tells me with his words and his body language….slow is better. Hours can be changed because of this minute. If I’m too busy to take one minute to send an email, voicemail or FB message to a friend that just lost his mother….I’m too busy, too hurried, too rushed. Sharing of life, love and laughter happens by the minute. Each moment is a gift, a treasure a once in a lifetime experience. How am I guarding my moments? How am I choosing to spend my life, to engage in it and in the lives of those that I love the most?
Here’s my “60-second” prayer:
Lord, I’ve been given many groups of 60 seconds, many minutes in my life, but only you know when they began and when they will end. I honor you, the keeper of time and I pray that this moment will bring you glory. I could spend it praying for peace, joy, health, provision, wisdom, love and acceptance, but instead I will simply pray that it won’t be wasted. That in this minute I will learn what you have for me and that your grace will fill my heart and mind. I pray that my spirit, which is in unity with you, would be strengthened and that I would know the fullness of your love. I pray that the same power that resurrected your son, Jesus, would fill my life and that I would approach my moments differently. I ask that you would grant me an understanding of time the way you see it…eternally. Father, help me to realize that eternity is what I was made for and so that effects every action and interaction in my life. I should love people well, live life fully, forgive completely and dream big BUT this world is not my home. My spirit was made for an eternal union with you and a forever of peace, grace, forgiveness and love. Holy Spirit thank you for capturing my heart, wooing me and calling me into a bond with you, a bond that knows no limit of time. Yet, as my earthly sands fall through the hour-glass I pray that I would love you well and show your grace to others. In Jesus name, AMEN!
Now go and make a difference, live your life, hug someone. You can do it. Even in 60 seconds.