Sunday, June 7, 2009

10 minutes

What would you do with 10 free minutes every hour? 10 minutes with no responsibilities, no expectations, and nowhere to go?

As a Mormon I attend church for 3 hours every week. 3 hours minus 20 minutes that is.

The thing is I mostly forgot about the "minus 20 minutes" part until a few weeks ago when Aundrea and I were discussing the rampant lack of reverence in church.  She reminded me that we have 10 minutes, 10. whole. minutes. between each meeting on Sunday. That's 10 minutes with nothing to do but "take a break".

How was I spending that "break?" sitting reverently in my seat waiting for the next class to start. It's no wonder I was so antsy by noon and ready to get OUT OF THAT BUILDING! Not surprisingly, the last 20 minutes (the lesson part) of Relief Society was not usually my most attentive 20 minutes of church. By that time my list of things to do when I got home had grown from 2-3 items, and was now a full blown minute-by-minute schedule of my afternoon. My doodles so completely covered the back of the program that it looked more like a Rorschach test than anything else. The dot game and tic tac toe score boards had more points than the scoreboard of an NBA game.

When Aundrea reminded me the point of that break is to take a break, move around, and do the things that aren't appropriate to do during class, everything changed.

I breath some fresh air (the air is fresh when it's raining, which it so kindly has the past 3 Sundays), walk around the building, move around, have a snack, clear my mind, get my proper books out of my car, and by the time I sit back down for the lesson I'm totally ready to pay attention again. My brain is not wandering at tired, my body it not itching to get off those chairs, my tummy isn't growling, and I've successfully avoided being asked to pray (a privilege reserved for those "reverent break sitters").

I'm making some assumptions here, but I'd be willing to bet that this break is great for kids too. Let them run around the church before having to sit reverently again. Let them have their picnic lunch in the car. Let them go to the parking lot and talk loud and forget their "inside voices". Let them move around and get more oxygen to their brains. From what I can tell, there are no cons to this plan. (I know I know nothing about having kids and CERTAINLY know nothing about keeping them reverent during church, feel free to call me out on this's just an untested theory at this point.)

So why is it that I only saw 4 other people outside the classroom during these breaks today? Does everybody know this break exists? Have they forgotten (like me) the purpose of these breaks? How do you spend your 10 minutes?


  1. I spend my 10 minutes checking to see if my 2 year old has to pee! And secretly I get a real kick out of watching the nursery kids during singing time. Everyone should poke their heads into the nursery at 11:00...guaranteed mood booster!

  2. YOu guys get 10 minutes? I wish we had 10 minutes...with all the taking kids to class and sacrament going over time, I don't think we get that wonderful 10 minutes to have a snack and take a break. Maybe I should just move so I can go to your ward. :)

  3. I swear the 10 minute break is church wide. Most people just don't notice it because they're used to going straight to class....check your schedule (ours is printed in the program) online and I'll bet it shows a 10 minute breat.....

  4. Break??? What the heck is that? I spend every waking second trying to make sure my kid isn't screaming, destroying Hymn books, stealing other kids' food and toys, climbing on everything...blessed nursery 3 more months and maybe that exhaustion I feel at 9:05am won't be so bad. Sunday’s are rough, I’m not gonna lie!

  5. I am lame.. I spend my 10 minutes chatting it up with my RS sisters and searching out people that I can say hello to... I should probably be spending it preparing to feel the spirit for the next class.. but I just can't shut up! I have to TALK!

  6. OK OK the break was probably not designed for parents of small children who don't get to leave their child elsewhere....sorry about that Catherine! :) Just 3 more months...hang in there!

    And Ashley I think there's NOTHING wrong with talking to people and socializing during those 10 minutes, if that's what feels like a break to you, by all means talk! :)

  7. Wow great idea! I've been playing postlude for the reverent sitters who stay in the same class for Sunday school, but seriously, the ole prego-bod can't handle that anymore so this week I'm taking a walk outside! Thanks for blogging the solution to my church-going-problems!


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