Got A Minute?

Got A Minute? (Audio)

We all know someone like this. Have you ever had a person call you on the phone and immediately apologize for interrupting your busy schedule, but they just wanted to talk a couple of minutes? “Got a minute?”

If you let the conversation get out of control, ask a question, make an observation, well, those few seconds easily became an hour. There is always a backstory, history, ideas, and future plans all rolled up for the purpose of that “minute” call.

There are a lot of rabbit trails that lead into the brambles! Click To Tweet

Calls like this made me take a pause and look at myself. Am I ever guilty of saying, “Got a minute?”, knowing that a minute would not do. Do I ever interject myself into someone’s path and say, “Hey…just a second, please!” and realize that it takes several seconds for the respondent to reply.

I realized there is no such thing as “just a minute”. It doesn’t exist. We use the opening line hoping to get our foot in the door and then before you know it, you’re invited to dinner! Yes… I’ve been victimized by this ploy!

Because of this and similar situations, I started thinking about gatekeepers we often hide behind. Roadblocks. Barriers. Things we do to keep those minutes from stretching into hours. It’s not that the hours are problems because I enjoy chatting with folks and there are times I need the distraction. But I do not have a secretary or administrator that keeps me at arm’s length from chasing rabbits!

Someone I personally know used to want to end a call that was dragging. She knocked on the wood arm of her chair and said, “Someone’s knocking. Gotta go.” A gentle extraction from the call made possible by personal ingenuity!

Today, we can say someone’s on the other line, or a webinar is starting (only if you are near the top of the hour), or…

However you choose to control the timing, just make sure you are not telling a fib. Do not lie to get out of the call.

This means you must find ways to end the conversation quicker! It was said that one CEO removed all chairs from the conference room and limited each meeting to 15 minutes. This ensured you went in prepared, all parties necessary were available, and you never got comfortable in the surroundings!

I’ve sat through hours of meetings that promised to last only a set time, and then go on and on until the conference room scheduler forced us into the hallways where the meeting planner panicked and looked for another free room to keep the meeting going. Did I say hours? It felt like days!

In this crazy world of technology interruptions, I have purposed to only answer phone calls from a known entity. All others can leave a voicemail. This stops robocalls in their tracks! There’s no one to talk to!

Take a spiritual thought with me… How often do we bow our head in prayer and ramble through our needs and thoughts? We recite history, take rabbit trails of conversational thoughts, and take no consideration of the time it takes out of our own schedule. I may internalize my own thoughts, but when it’s time to pray I want to be focused! A minute may be all I have and if so, then I want to make the best use of those 60 seconds!

Before his greatest trial of life, Jesus went to his favorite place of prayer. It was an olive grove near Gethsemane. He had been here before, possibly many times. “Sit here, while I pray,” he tells his disciples. But he takes his inner circle of three, Peter, James and John, a little deeper. “Tarry here, and watch…” (Mark 14:34) where we often understand that “watching” word was not simply a statement to guard against intruders.

Jesus often used it to the words “watch” along with “pray”. Vigilance along with supplication. Keep watch while you pray! Keep aware of the situation around you. Do not get distracted by rabbit trails!

When David voiced his prayers in Psalms 141, he states, “Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.” (Psalms 141:3) Our thoughts may rattle behind the scenes, but the words that come out of my mouth need to vigilantly controlled. This is a struggle for me because my mind often directs my words and if I think it then I want to speak it. You know. Get it out there!

But we often open mouth and insert foot!! And before you know it we’ve lost the vigilance of what we need to say. Or, we’ve lost the edge of keeping the word tract positive and flowing. Rabbit trails open up and we dart this way and that!

I’m just thinking this morning that we really need to think our thoughts and watch the words and phrases we use so that we are focused in our communication whether we are praying or simply conversing with a friend.

Have a blessed Christmas, folks! Praying for you!