Fifteen minutes. 15.
What do “15 minutes” mean to you?
Fifteen minutes isn’t that much time, is it? Most people have longer commutes than that. Take longer showers than that. Spend more time on social media and gaming than that.
So what can 15 minutes well-spent at the front end of your day mean to your remaining 23 hours and 45 minutes?
What if I told you that those 15 minutes would:
- Give you a better perspective on the events you would face that day
- Help you approach conflict with more grace and open-mindedness
- Help restore and refresh your heart and mind
- Give you more joy, hope, and peace
Would you be willing to adjust your morning routine to give you that time? Would you put off looking at social media, email, and notifications on your phone until later? Would you be willing to sacrifice a little sleep and get up 15 minutes earlier?
A few weeks ago one of my heroes crossed the finish line into heaven, leaving behind a vast and daunting legacy. However, Tom didn’t want his legacy to be memorialized, enshrined, or revered. His desire was for it to be carried on; perpetually handed off like a baton in a relay race. (Read Tom Moore’s story here)
For those of you who never had the privilege and joy of knowing Tom, you’re probably looking at the baton in your hand wondering, what am I supposed to do with this?
I have one word for you…
Grip it tight and run!
Run the race God has given you to His glory and honor.
Run and share the Good News of the Gospel with those who you know and meet.
But wait, what does this baton and Tom’s story have to do with the before mentioned 15 minutes?
Tom was passionate about people. He valued pouring into the lives of others—it gave him energy and joy. He was also passionate about Jesus—Jesus gave his life meaning and purpose. And it was his 15 minutes of well-invested time every morning that united these passions into one ardent mission—connecting people with Jesus and Jesus with people.
What did he do?
Before breakfast each morning, Tom read his Bible for 15 minutes. He opened his heart, soul, and mind to God’s Word. And the Spirit filled him to overflowing.
Beloved, Tom was committed to nourishing his soul before he nourished his body.
In his many years as an athlete and coach, Tom learned the value of being well nourished and its effect on your ability to run with excellence. Without a lifestyle that provides quality nourishment, you’ll crash. You won’t have the necessary energy reserves to sustain you for the entire race. You will start out fine, but as soon as you hit the rough patches, you’ll peter out. You won’t be able to finish.
The same is true in our spiritual life.
(I tried to get it to attached directly to this post, but it wasn’t working. This 4 minute video changed my life, my husband’s life, and the lives of many who celebrated Tom’s Homecoming. I am confident it will bless and change you too.)
Our church recorded this video several years before Tom entered the home stretch of his race here on earth. I don’t remember the sermon point it illustrated or the message series we were on. But I do remember watching it. I thought it was a great story, but I was “already digging in deep.” I was studying to teach. I didn’t need to spend 15 more minutes “just to read.” At that time I thought this video was good for everyone else. But it wasn’t for me.
I WAS WRONG!
Those of us who celebrated his homecoming had a chance to see it again. And God changed my thinking. He made the baton Tom passed me burn in my hands.
Fifteen minutes. That’s all.
Do you understand why I wanted you to hear Tom’s story? To see this video?
Despite the fact, I love Tom and his story. Despite the fact, I appreciate the chance to remember his vitality, humility, compassion, and quiet strength. Despite the fact, I miss the sound of his voice…
I wanted you to see this video because of the value, the treasure, the mystery that’s captured in it is yours!
Tom’s commitment to nourishing his soul for 15 minutes every morning before he nourished his body changed his life! It provided the sustenance he needed to run his race well. Every. Single. Day.
The baton in your hands? It starts here. It starts with 15 minutes. Every morning.
Just so you know, I wouldn’t lay down a challenge without first taking it on.
Some of you know I have been studying the Bible for years. I find everything about God’s Word to be thrilling. Exciting. I love reading it, breaking it down, analyzing it, and digging into the original language with my lexical aids. I enjoy pouring over my commentaries, Bible dictionaries, and encyclopedias and learning new things. I’m always amazed by how the hours slip past when I am up to my elbows in books studying.
Reading, not just studying, God’s Word has changed my life.
I’m not breaking it down. Not looking up the original meaning of this word or that. Not searching for the cultural context. Not even taking notes in a notebook. I’m just letting God’s love letter, God’s story, flood my heart, mind, and soul. Nourishing me. Filling me. Changing me.
I have laughed and cried. I have been challenged and called out. I have been blessed and whacked up-side the head by The Holy 2×4. And I love it. I look forward to it.
Beloved, I crave it! I anticipate those 15 minutes!
Reading God’s Word has brought a beautiful simplicity to my quiet time and sets the stage for the rest of my day. My eyes are opened to things I’ve never seen before—all the clutter is gone. It’s just Jesus and me. His heart pouring into mine. His mind opening and instructing mine.
There is no pressure to teach. To make it relatable. It is like the Spirit is saying, “Finally! You’ve slowed down. Let me teach you.” And teach He has.
This banquet feast like nothing I’ve ever enjoyed before. Every day I am amazed and thrilled by what I’m learning and understanding. I’m humbled by how the Spirit opens my heart and mind and pours in. Ancient Scriptural Truths explode off the page, making them more Vibrantly Relevant than they had been before.
Every day I step away with a fresh thrill surging through me, and I want to share what I’ve learned with everyone around me. I can hardly contain myself!
It took me a few days to realize I had made a mistake. I assumed my studying the word to write and teach doubled as my “quiet time.” I was wrong. And Tom reminded me of that in his video.
Don’t get me wrong; in-depth Bible study is still crucial to our spiritual growth and development. Digging deep into God’s Word is how you are going to find the most precious, most abundant treasure and be stretched.
But there is something about the simplicity of just reading and letting the Spirit work to start your day. There’s just something about choosing to stand on the Rock first thing in the morning to be sure your footing is secure amidst all the uncertainty we encounter every day. There is something about those few moments to fall in love with your Savior all over again before heading out the door.
Don’t believe me?
Give it a month.
I would love to hear how this practice changes you.
I’m confident it will.
Because God promises His Word never comes back void…
As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands.
Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper,
and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.
This will be for the Lord ’s renown,
for an everlasting sign,
that will endure forever.