Five More Minutes

A Lamplighter Moment from Mark Hamby

I heard a story recently about a father who seemed to have all the time in the world. Every weekend he sat on a bench near the playground, watching the kids play while his little girl rode her bike in endless circles around the park. After an hour or so he would stand up and call – “Are you ready to go yet, Amy?”

Inevitably, Amy would plead: “Can we stay for five more minutes, Dad? Please?” The man smiled and nodded, as she continued riding to her heart’s content. Moments passed. Then the man would check his watch and ask,  “Are you ready to go yet, Amy?” But Amy’s reply was the same: “Five more minutes, Dad. Please, just five more minutes.”

Without complaint the man sat back down. Finally, one of the other parents remarked on his inexhaustible supply of patience. The dad explained: “Amy’s older brother loved riding his bike until he was killed by a drunk driver last year. I never spent much time with him, and now I’d give anything for just five more minutes. I’ve vowed not to make the same mistake with my daughter. She’s learned to defer her gratification on many other fronts so I don’t mind her spending more time on something she enjoys, which is something I now enjoy watching.”

This father understood that time has a way of escaping us. The Apostle Paul challenges us to “Redeem the time for the days are evil.” If I could do it all over again, I would schedule uninterrupted activities with my children – and most assuredly I would leave my cell phone in the ‘off’ position. Maybe someday, when we ask our children if they have a moment, we’ll hear them say, “Sure dad, I have some time, because I’ve grown up to be just like you!”

Making ready a people prepared for the Lord,
Mark Hamby