Les Patterson’s Monday Morning Boost: Seventeen Second Miracles


    It was a dark morning the only time I crossed paths with Dakota. I was headed out the door to the gym when I saw him jump out of a car idling in the middle of the street. With the agility of teenager, he sprinted first to the house across the street then just as fast headed towards me. While too dark to notice his face, I was able to discern the quick flick of his wrist as that which is “mightier than the sword” slowly hurled past me and landed with a soft thud on our front porch.


    Dakota is our newspaper carrier.

    I don’t know if he knows about the Seventeen Second Miracle.

    But Sunday morning he displayed evidence he lives the principle.


    The Seventeen Second Miracle is a phrase coined by author Jason F. Wright in his book by the same name. His simple concept is choosing to “live every day believing the smallest of acts could change the world for good.” Like Random Acts of Kindness, Seventeen Second Miracles are conscious decisions to find and create ways to make a difference.


    So why seventeen seconds? I’ll let the author explain:


    “I’ve come to believe that in many cases that’s all it takes to change the course of someone’s day. Too often we think of how life can turn tragic in a matter of seconds: car accidents, drownings, bad news from the doctor. But can’t life also turn for the better in the same blink of an eye? Opening a door takes five seconds, saying hello to the new kid might take 10, and changing a tire might just take 20 minutes. But those are the very best kinds of service. No grade, no ribbon, no certificate. You get nothing but the sweet satisfaction that this time, at least on this occasion, you had your eyes open.”


    No great feats, nothing that takes loads of money or effort to accomplish. Yet, each small Seventeen Second Miracle has the power to make the world a little brighter, a little better. Think about how you feel when someone compliments you, a stranger holds the door for you, or someone smiles as you pass by. Likewise, think about how you feel when you’re the one performing the small act of goodness.


    Sunday morning Dakota arranged our Sunday papers into a smiley face. By so doing, he chose to make our day a little brighter. His simple act caused us to smile inside. We even left the papers as he arranged them until everyone at home saw them.


    The Seventeen Second Miracle is a delightful story to read. Here’s teaser from the book jacket, or you can read an excerpt here.


    “Seventeen seconds can change a life forever. This is what Rex Connor learned on a gorgeous summer afternoon in 1970 when, as a lifeguard, he diverted his gaze for seventeen seconds and tragedy occurred. Forty years later the waves of that day still ripple through the lives of countless people, including his son, Cole. 

     “Cole Connor has become a patient teacher, and now he has invited three struggling teenagers to visit him on his front porch to learn about Rex Connor – and the Seventeen Second Miracle. Together they will learn how Rex Connor could have allowed seventeen seconds to destroy him, but instead he chose to live every day believing the smallest of acts could change the world for good. And the students, each with their own secrets and private pains, will begin to understand that even tragedy brings lessons. Even pain brings comfort. Even death brings miracles. A seventeen second miracle can change a life – if you let it.”


    To Dakota, the teenager I’ve only seen once on a dark morning, thank you for your Seventeen Second Miracle.


    Have a great Monday. Thanks for letting me share!


    p.s. Take 13 minutes today – or maybe just seventeen seconds – to change the world.


    Les Patterson loves to share stories and the “Monday Morning Boost” is his way of sharing a story or two with family, friends, and clients. Les believes every person, business and organization has a story worth sharing. Since 1997 he has enjoyed finding compelling ways to share those stories through writing and producing radio commercials at the Cache Valley Media Group. Discover how he can help tell your story at www.CacheValleyMediaGroup.com. Feedback and comments are welcome at les@cvradio.com. ©2015, Les Patterson.  All Rights Reserved.