Summer has felt a little illusive this year. Already we have arrived at the end of July, and I haven’t checked off more than a handful of the things I would counsider to be part of a typical summer bucket list. Truthfully, it can leave me feeling a little blah. What happened to summer days filled with friends, campfires with roasting marshmallows and giant water slides with children screaming gleefully? What happened to summer vacation and time at the beach?
I think, before we sink too deeply into the depths of despair we need to apply the five second rule. The five second rule is grace. Grace given to the last piece of caramel corn you really wanted to eat; but first it fell on the ground. It is the bun for your best friends’ burger that may have scraped an acquaintance with the gravel in the side yard before coming to rest gently around their burger. The five second rule provides a little perspective. I was recently eating ice cream cones with a friend who dropped the last pointy bite of her cone on the ground. Immetiately sadness crept into her face, and then, with a shrug of her shoulders, picked it up, checked for shrapnel, and took the last glorious bite. Perspective. I can handle a little dirt, but I don’t want to miss this treat.
The five second rule seems to be applied nearly exclusively to food and things like dropped pacifiers. What if we began to apply it to more? What if when faced with a grumpy person I thought for 5 seconds before blasting him with my best disdainful look? What if when I’m confronted with someone who disagrees with me, I respectfully choose to agree to disagree and move on–even if they want to cling to the idea of an argument. What if I apply the 5 second rule to my family! Heaven help us all when our kids or spouse or yours truly is unreasonable or difficult to live with. Maybe taking the five seconds, minutes, hours or days to pause, regroup, think, and PRAY could be the difference between angry words and calm and deliberate conversation.
It’s just possible that the grace of the five second rule isn’t exclusively for a dropped Twinkie. I think I can apply the grace of the five second rule to almost every area of my life. The next time I am grumpy or faced with someone who is grumpy, irritated, fearful or thoughtless I can stop and give the five second rule a try. Imagine the gumpuses of the world like a fallen Cheeto. Is it necessary to grind it to dust beneath my foot, or can I apply the five second rule and put some of this God given grace to work?
The five second rule, this grace, is given to us through the power of the Holy Spirit. Seriously, this magical response is already ours. Grace, freely given to us, can be freely shared by us. In this way, the grace of God is shared with others. As believers we are given the Spirit and the Spirit lives through us, enabling us to share the fragrance of Christ with those around us.
2 Corinthians 6 says this, “We live in such a way that no one will stumble becasue of us, and no one will find fault with our ministry. In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind. We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit witin us, and by our sincere love. We faithfuly preach the truth. Gods power is working in us.”
This is a truth I cling to. Without the power of God at work within me, I am hopelessly unable to show love, understanding, patience or kindness in any form to those around me. I cling to the knowledge that God is at work within me each day giving me the ability to let his grace live through me. The next time you drop a treat on the floor and someone yells out, “5 second rule”, stop and thank God for the grace He has so freely given and consider how you will share that grace with those around you.