Take the Minute

I hate clutter.

And yet, too often, my dresser, my desk, my kitchen counter, or any other flat surface (including, on occasion, the floor) ends up with a messy pile of junk scattered across it. It irritates my spirit, and so I avoid making eye contact with it. I know, it doesn’t have eyes, but I do, and I try not to let them rest on the irritating stacks of stuff.

I don’t mean for those surfaces to end up this way. It’s usually the result of a few too many rushed days, days of tossing something on the dresser or desk, assuring myself I will take care of it later. I just don’t have time to file that or put that away just now.

But I hate the resulting clutter.

courtesy of https://www.freeimages.com/photo/stop-this-watch-1424636

So I’ve developed a new mantra:

Take the minute.

  • Take the minute to open that piece of mail and deal with it.
  • Take the minute to put that invoice in the file where it belongs.
  • Take the minute to read that newsletter.
  • Take the minute to file those bills.
  • Take the minute to put that jewelry away.
  • Take the minute to RSVP to that invitation.
  • Take the minute to handwash that piece of lingerie.
  • Take the minute to put away the wash.

Okay, some things, like the last one, might take more than “the minute.” But some take mere seconds, and so I keep using the same command in my head: Take the minute.

After a few days, it struck me that I could apply “take the minute” in a host of other areas that would make my day more meaningful and brighten the life of someone else. For example:

  • Take the minute to write a thank-you note for that person’s kindness.
  • Take the minute to message a Facebook friend a word of encouragement.
  • Take the minute to look that cashier in the eye and ask how she is.
  • Take the minute to stop at the yellow light.
  • Take the minute to allow someone in front of me, at the store or on the road.
  • Take the minute to smile at someone, or everyone.
  • Take the minute to listen to that lonely elderly person.
  • Take the minute to stoop down and converse with a child.
  • Take the minute to pick up that trash from the floor at church.
  • Take the minute to tell my husband why I appreciate him.
  • Take the minute to sit quietly before God and await his instructions for my day.

The applications are endless. And while I doubt the clutter is gone for good, or that I will never again be too busy to stop and pay attention to another human being or to God, I hope that “Take the minute” will play in my head and my heart and lead to a calmer more fulfilled life.

So tell me: How do you need to “Take the minute” today?


4 thoughts on “Take the Minute”

  1. I’m going to take a “few minutes” and write short thank you notes to three wonderful doctors’ offices where I had appointments this past week. We are so quick to complain, but oh so slow to praise. I’m going to get them in tomorrow’s mail. Thanks for this lovely post Carol!


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