The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

October 5, 2013

What would you do with five more minutes?

Keeping Faith By Bev Davis (1949-2010)

— Editor’s note: This column by the late Bev Davis originally was published July 18, 2009.

I read a story this week about a woman and man sitting on a park bench watching their children play on the swings.

The man decided it was time to leave and called to his daughter, “Melissa, it’s time to go.”

“Oh, Daddy, please, just five more minutes?”

The dad complied.

“You certainly are a patient dad,” the woman said.

“No, not really,” he said. “Last year, my son was killed by a truck. I can’t tell you how much I would love to have five more minutes with him. Melissa thinks I’m giving her five more minutes to swing. In reality, I’m giving myself five more minutes to watch her play.”

I’ve learned this week there’s a lot of life I can pack into five minutes.

After I finished cutting grass the other evening, I was about to go inside. I happened to see a terrapin slowly making its way toward my little vegetable garden. I sat and watched it painstakingly make its way over the edge of the wooden frame. By the time it had settled itself down under a cucumber leaf, I had taken in a rapturous sunset, caught a glimpse of a barn owl on a distant tree limb and petted my outdoor kitty who gets far too little attention.

Five minutes. Time enough to breathe in life, quiet my soul and truly enjoy the blessings of an awesome Creator.

On another day, I got ready for work a little early. I had, oh, just about five minutes before I had to leave. I decided to write a note and enclose it in a card for a friend who recently lost her husband. As I wrote the message, I prayed for her and her family. I had just enough time left to address the envelope and put on the stamp.

Yesterday, I got a call at work and discovered the lady on the other end needed to speak with someone in a different department at the newspaper. I was ready to transfer the call when she struck up a conversation. I didn’t really think I had time to talk. Deadlines, you know. Places to go. People to see.

I began to chat with her and found she was alone and having a bad day. After learning she is a woman of faith, I asked if I could pray with her on the phone. She seemed so pleased and eagerly agreed. At the end of our prayer, I knew there had been a divine intervention. There was happiness in her voice, and I could sense a new energy. By the time I transferred the call, a lady who had been “a little under the weather,” when I first inquired was now “on top of the world,” to use her words.

I looked at the clock. All that had transpired in — you guessed it — five minutes.

I’m measuring my days more in five-minute intervals, and I’m amazed at how much I can pack into that small fraction of an hour.

Look around you. How could you invest the next five minutes? That’s what time is, you know, an investment in eternity.