My wife and I used to frequent a tiny little restaurant in our town that made great omelets. The walls of that restaurant were peppered with sage and salient sayings written on small cards—diversions that occupy the customers until the food arrived. There must be dozens of those little sayings throughout the restaurant, almost everywhere you looked.
But the one I liked best was in the bathroom—the only bathroom in the entire restaurant. Someone taped it to the back of the bathroom door, at eye-level, so that when a person entered and turned to shut and lock the door, they couldn’t help but read the sign: “The length of time a minute takes depends on which side of the door you are on.”
One bathroom. One door. One sign. One irrefutable truth.
When our son Simeon was only three years old, he needed a tonsillectomy. The doctors said it was a simple procedure that would only take a few minutes. But we knew how long it took. It took an eternity. What doctors called a tonsillectomy, my wife and I called “open-tonsil surgery. I don’t care if the clock said it only took thirty minutes. Ask his mother if you don’t believe me: it took an eternity, because we were on a different side of the door than those doctors.
When my wife says,” Honey, will you take out the garbage?”
I say, as I watch a tremendous catch or throw or goal on television, “Yeah, hon. I’ll take it out . . . in a minute.”
But on more than one occasion, I have walked into the kitchen, after a minute, and I couldn’t find the garbage. The reason I couldn’t find it was that my wife got tired of walking around it, and took it out herself. The “in a minute” a wife waits for, after she has neatly tied a garbage bag and readied it for disposal, is not the same “in a minute” the husband experiences as he watches his favorite team in a tight game.
You may not have thought about it, but the word minute is not in the Bible. But you won’t have to examine the life of Jesus very much before you find the word ‘Door.’ In the gospel of Luke, chapter 9, Jesus walked along with some folks.
“Follow Me,” he said to one man.
The guy mumbled something about needing to bury his father first, but what I think he really meant was, “Right. I’ll follow you, but I have some personal matters that I need to attend to first. It shouldn’t take too long: I’ll be with You in a minute.”
Another guy in that same chapter heard the ‘Follow me’ invitation, and responded, “I’ll follow you, but first I need to go back and say good-bye to my family.” (That’s another way of saying, “I’ll need a minute.”)
In John 10:9, Jesus said, “I am the Door.” He lovingly enables me to live a life of obedience and sacrifice . . . and immediacy. The reality is that the minutes of my life become a lifetime. There’s a big difference between my waiting on God, and God waiting on me. The length of time a minute takes depends on which side of the Door I’m standing on.