The Humble Minute

“Little Things”

by Ebenezer Cobham Brewer

Little drops of water,
Little grains of sand,
Make the mighty ocean
And the pleasant land.

Thus the little minutes,
Humble though they be,
Make the mighty ages
Of eternity.

The children and I have started learning this poem together and the “humble minute” has been on my mind. We have each been given the same number of minutes in a day, 1440 to be exact, but how we choose to use them varies so widely.

In our busy lives as homemakers, there are many little pauses. We can choose to fritter them away or diligently grasp the minutes. Last week I was bemoaning to myself that I just didn’t have the time to clean the bathrooms or vacuum (and the house was definitely showing it).

But as I thought about it more, it wasn’t that I didn’t have time, just that I wasn’t using my time wisely. The next morning while the children were finishing their morning routines, I had a few spare minutes. The immediate temptation was to check email, but the “little minute” begged for me to choose the bathroom sink instead.

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There are so many “spare” minutes like that throughout each day, and so many ways to wisely make the most of them. In a “humble” minute or two, you can

  • wipe down the bathroom sink
  • deal with the mail, instead of letting it clutter the counter
  • throw in a load of laundry
  • elicit a laugh from a little one
  • clean the toilet
  • look into your child’s eyes and tell them you love them
  • dust a bookshelf
  • put your dirty socks into the hamper
  • take your vitamins (why does it always seem so hard?)
  • pause to marvel at the glory of God’s creation

The minutes may tick past endlessly, but even the humble minute is worth redeeming.

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  1. says

    I really liked this post, Anna. It’s something that I’ve struggled with. There have been times when I’ve gone to bed and wished I’d used my time a little bit more wisely and gotten more done. Thanks for the encouragement.
    And I love that poem. Such a good reminder. Here’s another. 🙂

    Only A Minute
    I have only just a minute,
    Only sixty seconds in it;
    Forced upon me, can’t refuse it,
    Didn’t seek it, didn’t choose it;
    But it’s up to me to use it.
    I must suffer if I lose it;
    Give account if I abuse it.
    Just a tiny little minute,
    But eternity is in it.

  2. Joanna says

    I love this post! For me, it’s so easy to be distracted by silly stuff, and yet, it’s so easy to just use that minute or two to actually accomplish something. One of those things I’m trying to improve! Thanks for the reminder!

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