The Seed of Hope

A gift for tomorrow

My Five



Name one thing that’s readily available, yet oh so hard to find. It’s something that never runs out, yet always seems to be in short supply. When you do have it, it seems to be gone in the blink of an eye. Oh, and did I mention that it’s free?

Do you have it yet? Have I given you enough time to figure it out?

The answer, of course, is time!

If you’re laughing, let me ask you a question, and I want you to be completely honest with yourself in answering it.

Do you really have enough time to do all the things that you want to do in life?

REALLY? If your answer is yes, considered yourself blessed, and know that you are among those who are “the exception to the rule.” I consider time management to be one of my assets, yet there are days, and even weeks, when I just don’t have enough time to do all the things that are on my “things to do” list. Come to think of it, my intention was to get this post out four days ago, well before New Year’s Day, and all of the resolutions that come with it. Yet here I sit, on New Year’s Eve (days after my self-imposed deadline) trying to wrap my thoughts up in one neat little bundle to pass along to you.

What happened? It just seems that, as usual, and for a variety of reasons, life got in my way! Well, life, and the reality that the list of things that I want to do is just too long.


I was having lunch with my friend Walt the other day, and during our conversation he was lamenting that he never seemed to have enough time to do all the things that he wanted to do. “No matter how hard I try to arrange things, I just always run out of time. It’s really frustrating, and I don’t know what to do about it.”

Sound familiar?

I had a suggestion for Walt before he even finished his statement, and it’s one that I’m going to make to you right now. And as I’m writing this, I realize that it’s one that I’m making to myself as well.

The list.

What I what to share with you is something that I stumbled upon when I first had my spiritual awakening some four plus years ago. I was re-evaluating my walk in life and my walk with the Lord, and I was desperately seeking ways to bring some semblance of order to the upheaval that was going on in my mind. I actually mentioned this exercise in one of the very first Seed of Hope posts in 2008, titled You Want to Know What?, and something tells me that it’s worth mentioning again.

Here goes…

You need to be alone when you try this, in a quiet environment where there are no distractions. If absolute silence is a distraction for you, as it is for some, you can put on your favorite music to fill in the background. (Preferably, soft music played at a low level.) Grab a pen and paper, then go have a seat in your favorite chair (if you have one) in your favorite room (again, if you have one). Just get comfortable.

Next, do whatever it is that best clears your mind of its “junk”. Pray. Meditate. Listen to the music. Ask the Lord for help. Ask Him to take you to “that quiet place” in your mind where you can sort things out, where you can get some clarity. Be patient. It’ll come. Take as long as you need.


When you’re there, I want you to reflect on every aspect of your life; all of it. Think about the way it is. Think about the way it could be. Think about what you have. Think about what you want. Think about what’s in your mind. Think about what’s on your heart. Think about who, or what, is important to you. Think about what you want to do.

Now, with pen in hand, I want you to write on that piece of paper the top five things  from the list of all that you’ve thought about. This is about the top five priorities in your life; the five things that are most important to you. There are no rights or wrongs on this list. There are no mandatory inclusions. It’s just about what’s on your heart.

There’s just one thing that you have to remember…

There can only be five. Well, it can certainly be less than five, but definitely no more than that. Why not?

Well, I believe that many of us aspire to do so many things, and in doing so we wind up spreading ourselves too thin. So thin, that quite often that which we hold dearest and are of the most importance in our lives often get neglected, if not forgotten completely. Sadly, the end result is frustration, disillusionment, shattered dreams, failed relationships, and broken hearts.

So go ahead, pick your top five. For you, some of them may be mandatory, such as careers, finances, and family. Consequently, you’re probably only gonna have room for a couple of truly optional ones, so choose wisely when compiling your list.

Even as I write this, I’m a bit saddened by the realization that some of the things that I want to do are gonna have to take a back seat to my top five for a while. Be that as it may, this is something that I not only have to do, but want to do. Look, I’m not going to forget the other things. My commitment, first and foremost, is to my top five. If there’s time for the others, they’ll get what’s left.

I’m reminded of what Church of The Highlands Pastor Chris Hodges shared in a Sunday message just a few weeks ago. “We don’t try to do a lot of different things, but what we do, we do real well.”

Following  Pastor Chris’ lead, for the next several months I’m going to limit the number of things that I really want to do this year, but I’m gonna go all-out to do those things real well.

One thing.

If you make the decision to try this, I’ll remind you once again that there’s no right or wrong choices. Your list consists of whatever is on your mind and in your heart. There is, however, one suggestion that I’d like to make for you; one thing that you should include on your list.

Please, please include at least one thing that brings you joy, that fills your heart with gladness, that puts a smile on your heart, and that, if nothing else, makes you happy.   We get so overwhelmed by our challenges in life that quite often we forget that we can enjoy the journey.

I believe that if you’re willing to give this a shot you’ll find that you’re a lot happier with your life and with yourself. And you’ll find that you have more time than you thought.

My Five.

1.    To love and serve the Lord with all that is in me every day.

2.    My wife Jackie and our family.


Come on, you didn’t really think that I was gonna give you all of my list, did you? That wouldn’t be any fun. Besides, the rest is between me and God.

In closing, I want to take a moment to thank you allowing me to share my journey with you. It has truly been an incredible year for me, filled with ups and downs, but most important of all, it has been filled with God’s presence.

May your New Year be filled with God’s Blessings and His Abundance!





Faithful wrote on 12/31/10 7:40 AM

Wow....this is such a timely word and I needed it at this point when I wasn't trying to read it as I was rushing to get ready fit work or "squeeze" in a little quiet/meditation time. I truly thank God for you Sam and I am excited for what He has done for His people in 2011! For me, 2010 was HARD. I had some REAL challenges sprinkled with some good times. I've experienced everything from death of SEVERAL people who were near and dear to me, to someone breaking in my car and stealing two laptops and money (that I was responsible for repaying), to having myself as well as several relatives and close friends be diagnosed with potentially terminal illnesses (God is a healer), and they list REALLY goes on and on. But you want to know what??? I made it, and I'm here. 2011 holds GREAT things for God's people! And the name of the game is priority, purpose and diligence. We've GOT to get some order in our lives. I can go on and on but I'm going to stop here. Happy, Blessed, and PROSPEROUS New Year to you, your family and everyone else!
Dean L. Forbes wrote on 12/31/10 9:03 AM

Hello Sam, I truly enjoy reading your posts - when I have time. :-) Seriously, this post really spoke to me as I found time management to be a great challenge for me this year. I too am usually pretty good at self management and found it quite frustrating that I always seem to run out of time! This post really brought to light what I refused to admit to myself - I'm just trying to do too much at once so in 2011 I will endeavor to heed your wise words. Let you know what happens my friend. Happy New Year to you and Jackie and your entire family. Love, Dean
Susie Mc Sellers wrote on 12/31/10 9:31 AM

What a beautiful reminder and motivation for us all Sam! Thank you for your commitment and passion for Seed of Hope! (I bet that's in your top 5... )..God bless you and Jackie in 2011, may it be a year that becomes more than you could ever hope for or imagine! Hugs and Love....and not to forget Jeremiah 29:11
CC wrote on 12/31/10 9:25 PM

Well said Sam. You and Jackie have a Wonderful New Year. love you guys
Pat Brown wrote on 01/03/11 10:00 PM

i have a date with me to ponder and commit to five. thanks for the road map.

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