With apologies to my non-country-music-lover readers, my theme for this post comes from a recent #1 hit on the country charts by Scotty McCreery entitled, you guessed it, “Five More Minutes.” I first heard the song a month or two ago and without even listening to the verses, I knew that there was a message here, not just for me, but for hopefully many of you as well.
Before I get to the stab to my heart I felt upon hearing it, I’ll give you a brief synopsis of the song – and a little country music writing tutorial for you country-music illiterates! Often the song writer will tell a story with each verse, using the chorus as the tie that binds. In this case, the verses talk about children wanting to play a little longer, a young couple wanting their goodnight kiss on the porch to last longer, the high school senior football player needing a little more time in that last game they just lost – and then finally, the writer asking for more time with his dying grandfather.
But when I heard the song the first time, I only paid attention to the chorus and I immediately thought to myself, “What would I say to Dale if I could have him back for just 5 more minutes?” (Although I would seriously never ask him to leave the glory of heaven to come back to earth for even that short period of time!) Would there be enough time to make up for the things I didn’t say before he died? And surprisingly, I decided that yes, I could say a LOT in five minutes.
We were blessed that, in the 10 months Dale spent in the assisted living facility, God brought restoration to our marriage after some very difficult years dealing with his dementia. I was able to go from being his full-time care-giver to his wife again. So, we did have time to reminisce about the many good years we had together and thank God for the blessings throughout those years. And I was able to ask Dale to forgive me for the times I hadn’t been as patient as I should have been, to which he replied, “I already have.”
And yet, I felt so strongly about the message in this title that I did stop and honestly address the question. What would I say if I had five more minutes? I would be much more intentional about letting him know how much I loved him and how much his unconditional love meant to me for over 35 years. I would thank him for his faithfulness to me, for his great sense of humor, for his outlook on life, for his patience, kindness and understanding, and for his quiet faith.
I would also be more intentional about asking for his forgiveness for all the times I fell short of being the wife that I knew God wanted me to be. And maybe I’d even ask forgiveness for the times I felt compelled to correct the spelling in his grocery lists! Maybe…
While my message from this song was about doing something completely impossible – bringing Dale back for five minutes – its original intent was, in part, to challenge the listener to consider how we would treat five more minutes with a loved one.
What would YOU do with those five minutes? What would the most important message be? And who comes to mind when you ponder the question? Just what are the scenarios that pop into your mind? What about sending a child off to college? Or seeing a friend move across the country? Or thanking a favorite teacher or boss? Or just seeing your spouse or child walk out the door to work or school in the morning? Simple, every day interactions in which those five minutes would become very precious to you.
So, this post is really food for thought. Who are the people in your life that need you to fill up five minutes with words of encouragement, or repentance, or love? We all have them – lots of them, most likely. Let me encourage you to take that little snippet of time and use it for the good of others – and you’ll find that you’re blessed in the process. I know it’s good advice for me as well.
And it’s not just good inter-personal relationship advice, it’s also biblical. “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29
May God give you and me the courage, the heart and the opportunities to use our five minutes well!