So the very thought of writing a post in five minutes is actually quite comical. I might get past the title, but I can't envisage much more finding its way from my head - to my fingers - and onto the page. And with that in mind, is it even worth me considering it?
But, what if I gave it a go? Would it really matter if I only managed a few lines? Would you be hugely offended if my grammar was dodgy or my spelling incorrect? Would it be reported to the blogging police and taken offline? I seriously doubt it. So - how about I give it a go? You never know, I might actually manage to put a thought out there that might make a difference. Doubtful, but not impossible.
But wait. I have already taken quite some time in writing the above. That doesn't have to count does it? Can I be given more time on the clock?
Five minutes. Clock set. No cheating. And ... go!
This week at Twinkling Stars, a baby and toddler group I run, I had several really exciting opportunities to have meaningful conversations with some of the parents and carers that attend. I have known them for quite a while now, and have slowly been developing a good rapport with them. We often talk about how we take our tea. Or the weather. Or the farm trip at the weekend.
But this week, something happened. A concerned parent opened up about the possibility of her cancer returning, and the agonising wait she had for the results. One of the carers asked me about my life, and my experience as a Christian. And another parent shared how difficult she was finding it since the death of her father. All important life conversations and I got to be a part of them.
What changed? Did we do anything different this week to encourage meaningful conversations?
Well, yes, actually we did. We prayed. Don't get me wrong, it isn't as though we don't ever pray for the group. It's just that we don't usually get time before people start arriving. This week, however, we set up early and had time to spare. We asked God to give us opportunities and to be in our conversations that morning. And it happened. It was an amazing morning!
That afternoon, as I walked back from school, I reflected on the morning's conversations. And it got me thinking - did God give us more opportunities as we asked him - or were we just more aware of them?
Of course I believe that God answers prayer - so I can see how the conversations etc could have been a direct answer. However, I can't help but wonder whether our expectations of the morning had something to do with it as well. We had asked God to provide us with meaningful conversations and expected them to happen. Our eyes and ears were open and we were ready to embrace the opportunities given. Perhaps we also asked the questions with a greater authenticity and a tone that said 'I really care'?
Which was it?
Does God only provide opportunities when we ask him too? Or, could it be that the opportunities are always there, we just don't see them? Or maybe we do see them, but lack confidence in taking them?
I don't think it matters. What does matter is that we keep God at the centre of all we do. Our expectations will then be raised, we will have greater confidence in our ability through him, and we will encounter Him moving in spectacular ways in our lives.
Confession: I forgot when the five minutes started!