Take Ten Minutes

A while back, I took my oldest son to the dentist for the first time. I was so anxious as to how he was going to react to getting his teeth cleaned and examined. He’s almost always easy-going, but like all kids, he has his moments. We also had his newborn baby brother with us, sleeping in the stroller, and I just kept thinking, “Please don’t wake up, please don’t wake up, please don’t wake up.”

But the hygienist was amazing. She showed my two-year-old all around the exam room, every part of the chair he was going to be sitting in, the light above his head, and let him see and touch all of the tools she would be using. She spent a solid ten minutes showing him everything, and the actual cleaning only took five minutes. And he did great!

It may seem a little strange to take ten minutes to prepare for a procedure that only took five minutes to do, but had she not taken those ten minutes, that five-minute period for the cleaning would have almost certainly been a scream fest that took much longer and resulted in a less-than-great cleaning. The hygienist understood the benefit of investing time at the beginning.

Watching that prompted me to think of one area of my life where I almost always disregard the concept of investing time at the start. Most mornings, I bounce right out of bed and start my day rushing. I rush and I rush, until I crash. I take a couple of minutes to catch my breath and then start again, and fall into bed exhausted every night. I’m not screaming, but my body is.

But on the occasions I’m a little wiser, my days are much less taxing. On the mornings I wake up and take just ten minutes to sit with my tea in quiet to rest, think, pray, and read Scripture, my day almost always goes more smoothly. The circumstances of my day don’t necessarily change, but how stressed, frazzled, or worn out I get is often so much less.

When I can, I have also found it beneficial to take another ten-minute pause in the middle of the afternoon, before the late afternoon/evening shift of life begins.

When I don’t take ten minutes, it’s because I feel like I’m too busy. But when I do take the time, things typically go so much better, and I realize it was worth it — just like the hygienist reminded me that day at the dentist. It was an unexpected place to get such a reminder, but I’ll take a good reminder where I can get one.

We were just there again recently and had dual appointments!

Take Ten. Breathe. Be Still

Take ten minutes. Be still. Rest in the absolute silence. No distractions, no electronics. None of us are too busy to take that time.

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 (NLT)

Be still, and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10a (NLT)

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