Beth Armstrong

Christian wife, mom, & author. Doing life with my eyes fixed on Jesus. I walk, I stumble, I fall. But God is big. And this is what I write about… Thanks for stopping by!


Twenty seconds isn’t a lot of time. It’s a veritable microcosm on the timeline of life.

Here…let’s do an experiment. Find a clock with a second hand, or set your stopwatch on your phone. Hold your breath for 20 seconds as you watch each tick of the hand. Ready? Go!


If you actually held your breath for 20 seconds it might have seemed longer than you had anticipated. But in all reality, it’s not a lot of time, right?

So, can you really do anything significant in this short amount of time? Can you impact anything or anyone in 20 short seconds?

Benjamin Mee would say “Absolutely!”

In the movie We Bought A Zoo, which is based on a true story, here’s what Ben said to his son, “You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.”

The Power of 20 Seconds

Twenty seconds of “insane courage.”
Twenty seconds of “embarrassing bravery.”

Would you even consider the possibility of insanity or embarrassment? It’s risky. It’s gutsy. It’s out of our comfort zones.

What kinds of things could happen in 20 seconds insane courage? What kinds of things could occur in 20 seconds of embarrassing bravery?

Think about it…

Twenty seconds of insane courage to:

  • Make the phone call you’ve been avoiding
  • Have the conversation that’s long overdue
  • Walk across the room and make contact with that person
  • Lace up your tennis shoes, head out the door, and start the exercise program
  • Inquire about that job
  • Say the words that need to be heard
  • Write the check to support a cause
  • Make a decision for lasting change

Unlike Benjamin Mee, I can’t promise you something great will come of your 20 seconds of insane courage and embarrassing bravery. But more than likely nothing will happen if you avoid it.

Do you know what nothing means? It means no change. It means things stay the same. It means words are left unspoken, brokenness continues, repairs are left undone, salvation or redemption are put on hold, mending doesn’t begin, transformation stalls out, despair or discouragement perpetuate.

Twenty seconds of insane courage.
Twenty seconds of embarrassing bravery.
Sometimes all you need is 20 seconds…

Pray that God would give you insane courage. Pray that God would give you embarrassing bravery. Pray that God would open a door for you. And when He does, don’t dawdle through it, dance through that open door like there’s no tomorrow.

…because that’s the power of 20 seconds.




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