Got Five Minutes?
By Letitia Suk
“Take five minutes to pray for your work each day and see what happens,” was the challenge proposed by our pastor to the congregation years ago. I remember thinking something like, “Duh!” Of course, I already pray at least five minutes a day for my work…don’t I? Surely all the praying-on-the-run I did each day for all the flying curveballs added up to more than five minutes.
The nudging continued so the next morning I grabbed a timer on the way to my prayer chair, set it for five minutes and began to pray specifically for my work. Wow, that timer took a long time to ding! Challenge accepted—I was ready to see what would happen.
Like many of us, my work is multi-faceted. So I decided to give a minute to each of the five areas for my day-to-day projects. It seemed like one minute would be easier that five. I know, wimpy, right?
The first minute I gave to my coaching clients. They invested time with me to bring focus and intentionality to their lives and I wanted to give them my best work. My writing got the next minute. The current projects, the longed-for projects, my skill and wisdom in putting words on a page. Good thing the timer rang because it was easy to zone off into work mode instead of praying.
Speaking ministry was next. Events already scheduled and those I wanted to schedule. For my communication skills to grow and for lives to be changed. A lot for one minute.
My part-time chaplain work got minute #4. Patients, sensitivity, staff and overall blessing for the hospitals.
The last minute I saved for specific work stuff on that day’s agenda: marketing, blogging, networking. This time the five minutes flew by.
He was right—things happened! I felt more partnered with God in all aspects of my work. Not just that I was working for Him but with Him as I laid the concerns out each day. I saw clearer productivity and greater results.
All these years later, I still set my timer most days. My work depends on it.
Each day holds 1440 minutes…hard to claim a legitimate excuse for not finding five of them to invest in prayer over your work. You might be amazed at the return.
P.S.—The same five-minute principle works for other areas of your life too!
Letitia (Tish) Suk, www.letitiasuk.com, invites women to create an intentional life centered in Jesus. She blogs at hopeforthebest.org and authored Getaway with God: The Everywoman’s Guide to Personal Retreat) and Rhythms of Renewal. She is a speaker, personal retreat guide, and life coach in the Chicago area. Find Tish: https://www.facebook.com/Letitia.Suk.Author/
I’ve had the opportunity to catch a couple high school girl’s soccer games this season and I had the biggest revelation during the last one. I’d had a stressful day with a puppy who chewed through his harness without my knowledge and took off for a run in the hood so fast I didn’t even know what direction he went. I needed to mow a lawn because the rest of the week only got busier for everyone else, and it really bothered my wrist.
By the time I got to the game I was overtired and in pain. That kind where your blinking back the tears and trying not to burst into tears in public. I was beyond frustrated and wondered why. The dog came back. I bought a quality harness. The lawn got done.
Watching the game, I received a Holy Spirit download.
I was frustrated because once again I was fighting against blocked goals.
If I were a soccer player in charge of kicking goals I have to admit, if the goalie did their job and blocked goals, I’d probably throw a hissy fit. I hate blocked goals in my life. Every day I have a written or mental list of things to tackle and like a soccer player, I want to run that ball called my day down the field and slam it into the net.
And life gets in the way.
Blocked goals can be kids needing rides I wasn’t planning on. Running to the store because I need an ingredient for dinner. Cleaning up a mess. Extra load of laundry. Lately the pets in a new home are a huge source of my blocked goals.
Whatever the distractions and delays, I’m not handling it well. From groans to ridiculous threats about dropping animals or people off in the middle of the country, I’m short on grace and snappy with replies. Blocked goals do not bring out the best in me.
I believe this is a season. 2014 has been all about buying a house and renting out our former one. That entire process was full of blocked goals that overall we sailed through thanks to God’s grace. Now that it’s time to settle in, I want it done. In two weeks. Or less.
What am I learning? One, I need to cut my goals in half. That way if I accomplish more, yay. If not, it’s okay. Life happens. The puppy is going to do puppy things on my watch. As the one who stays home with a flexible schedule, it’s on me to get things done when others can’t. And I have to realize my stuff has to take a seat.
I need to visualize it as the soccer playing tossing the ball back and forth between her feet while she aims for the goal. I will take that shot, just not always when I want to. When I do take that shot and work on those girls, experience tells me God will set it up in such a way it will go way better than I could ever imagine.
I’m not there, but at least I’m aware.
And that’s progress.