Only Five Minutes

by Jan Silvious

How do you feel about a short span of time? Is a few minutes here and there about like finding a penny-you don't even bother to pick it up because of its small value? Or have you learned that even pennies add up?

Time, like money, can be squandered or wasted or not properly valued. Each of us has been given the same number of minutes in an hour, the same number of hours in a day. Those who excel have simply learned to squeeze out of their time just a little bit more.

One of the best books I've ever read on this subject is the late Ted Engstrom's The Pursuit of Excellence. This little volume gets down to the basics of why some folks excel and some folks don't. Ted wrote:

"Someone has said that the difference between an amateur and a professional is about five minutes more.

"Just five minutes more of reading toward your goal.

"Just five minutes more of working out a communication problem with your spouse.

"Just five minutes more with a son or daughter who may be having difficulties in school.

"Just five minutes more of asking God to give you the special guidance you so desperately need.

"Are you an amateur or are you a professional? Are you willing to give it that extra five minutes? Are you determined to strain your muscles until they cry out for relief, to keep on trying when you want to quit?"

In our "instant society," five minutes can seem like an eternity. I get anxious when I have to microwave something longer than five minutes. The quicker, the better for me.

But God says, "Whatsoever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might" (Eccl. 9:10). Sometimes it takes five minutes more to do it right.

How about you? Been slacking up a little? Have you slipped to amateur status, when you really want to be a professional? Maybe you need to invest just five minutes more.

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