Jul 1, 2021 filed under Hope, Joy, Living Virtue, Trust.

woman holding clock

Eating lunch last Saturday, I looked out my picture window to see the neighbor boy, Avery, shooting hoops in his driveway, wearing a backpack. I wondered why he was wearing a backpack. A few minutes later, his mother came out and called him to the car. He got in and they drove off.

Avery knows what some of us have forgotten: that there is true freedom of spirit in grabbing 10 minutes between duties to do something restorative. It could be spending a few minutes in prayer, it could be going outside for air, playing with the dog, or enjoying a piece of dark chocolate. Anything to break our routine and to remind us that we are children of God, born for freedom. For Avery, it was perfecting his 3-point shot.

Management expert David Allen, author of Getting Things Done, advises us to make a list of things we can do in 10 minutes. Then, when we’re in between duties, or waiting for the next meeting to start, we can go to our list and make good use of that time.

What’s in it for me?
Two good things result. First, a short nap or a walk outside will charge our battery for whatever’s next. Second, even if the thing we do is a “duty,” like finally putting the new sticker on our license plate before it expires, we feel freer because that thing-to-do isn’t weighing us down anymore.

The vice of sloth (which includes procrastination) plagues many of us. Surprisingly, the virtue that cures sloth is love. That is, if we love God more, we’ll be more eager to do what he asks of us. Instead of seeing our to-do list as a burden, we’re more likely to see it as our way of serving God today. (And God loves a cheerful giver!)

On the other hand, if we find ourselves wasting time with nothing to show for it, we feel the opposite of free. The emotional rut just gets deeper, and happiness slips farther and farther away.

But filling our “in-between times” with something on our list of quick things we want to do can keep us from being mentally crushed by what we have to do.

We can build up our love of God by including the following three things on our “10-minute” list:

  • Open the Bible anywhere and meditate for a few minutes on what you find.
  • Pray a decade of the Rosary, asking Mary to share with you the peace of the Holy Spirit, her spouse.
  • Listen to music that takes you away from your routine and lets your thinking-brain rest.

Stress comes when I start believing I’m in charge of making things happen and in charge of the results. That’s a frame of mind that can make it extra hard to reach for my 10-minute list. What? Give up control? Do something fun? Thanks, but I think I’ll just stew instead!

Whoa, girl.

That’s when I know the 10-minute list is my lifeline to the sip of peace and freedom God is offering me. And it took a 14-year-old boy in his driveway to remind me of that. As the psalmist sang:

We escaped with our lives like a bird
from the fowler’s snare;
the snare was broken,
and we escaped.
Our help is in the name of the Lord,
the maker of heaven and earth.
Ps. 124:7-8

My new list
Here are a few things on my new 10-minute list: 1. Do something about the mystery stain on the stairs. 2. Dance barefoot to Dancin’ in the Street. 3. Order husband’s birthday present. 4. Go outside and actually enjoy the flowers I planted this spring.

Scroll down and share some things you can put on your list!

Love always,

A book by the master at helping you get your time back for things that are important. I highly recommend it — it’s made a difference in my life. If you purchase the book by clicking on the photo, Virtue Connection may make a small commission at no additional cost to you.



7 Responses to “10 minutes to Freedom of the Children of God”

  1. Diane Isabelle

    Great posting, Rose! For my 10-minute to-do list: get a dustcloth and dust few pieces of furniture; use the hand-vac to get crumbs off the kitchen floor; water a few houseplants; pull a dozen weeds in the yard.

  2. Anna Marie Montanaro

    I LOVED this idea! I’m going to have to rethink how I put together my to-do list! Thank you Rose! Happy 4th to you as well!

  3. Tom Roberts

    “The virtue that cures sloth is love.” What an eye opener! So I write out my list of about a dozen TO DO items for the day then turn to Blessed John XXIII’s MEDITATION OF THE DAY “How Much More Will the Father Give.” Herein are ten thoughts that turn my list into a job with a paycheck. I remember an Alanon meeting about 40 years ago where a woman said “I do dishes with God.” Can it be that simple? Seems it is!

  4. Ann C

    Now that I’ve been retired for several years I fill my days doing things that bring joy to my life: filling bird feeders, making humming bird syrup, watering and dead heading my flowers,painting, reading, scrapbooking. When there’s a lull I spend ten minutes doing the things that used to take most of my time: cleaning, doing dishes (love the idea of doing them with God!) paying bills (another one that could be done with God, thanking Him that I can).
    As I read the article I realized I have reversed my life in my last chapter and I’m so at peace.

    • Rose Folsom

      Reversed me life — I love that! You didn’t rush from one trap to another — you’re free! Thanks for sharing that.

  5. Helen

    Rose there is always another job that needs doing. Cleaning up with Jesus, wow. I always ask Jesus to help me get this or that done, always asking for help. But this is different. Offering up what I am doing for His honor and glory not just to get another task done, please let me know if I am reading this correctly. Thanks so much.

  6. Diane Upham

    Dear Rose,
    As always, you ‘nailed it’ for me!! Your message through the Holy Spirit was the perfection I have been praying for. Yes, and I am definitely enjoying more ’10 mins’ time frames to do 1 or 2 things on my list!!
    Last evening when we had a group over for a shared dinner I mentioned when requested to take a family picture off the wall for them to see better,” that it is probably dusty”. I told then if they saw dust to please use their finger to sign their autograph so I could see where I needed to dust. They laughed a big one!!
    So I am learning to not let housework keep me from enjoying friends when the opportunity comes up at the spur of the moment!!!