A lifetime is made up of so many years, months, weeks, days, hours, and minutes. An hour is 12 segments of 5 minutes.

Most people think nothing of a short 5 minutes. The boss says, “Everybody take a five minute break,” or the coach says to his players during practice, “Take 5!”

If it were 30 minutes or an hour, we would do something with it. Make something of it. But since it is 5 minutes, well . . . let’s do nothing.

But, if we would make use of twelve 5 minutes, otherwise called an hour . . . why not one?

Most of us are wiser with regard to money than with time. Seldom do you hear someone remark: “Well, it’s only five bucks.” A thrifty person will not waste five dollars. But lots will say: “It’s only 5 minutes.” Most people are not time thrifts.

Believe it or not, time is more important than money. More can be done with time than money. The consequences of losing or wasting time exceed the equivalent with money. How we spend 5 minute fragments of time is important. Months are minutes multiplied. Think of the bundles of 300-second opportunities wasted!

Think of the thousands of things that can be done in 5 minutes! Read Scripture. Jot an email of appreciation to someone. Pray. Read devotionals like this one. The list is endless.

Learning to use the odd 5 minutes makes all the difference.

How many people in this life and the next wish they had a certain 5 minutes to live over again? When the door of opportunity is shut and locked . . . if it could only be opened one more time! When harsh and ugly words are spoken . . . if only the clock could be turned back 5 minutes. When God’s day of grace passes and life is over, oh for five more minutes of life to reach out to Christ and take Him as Savior!

Five minutes made all the difference for the two thieves on the cross next to Jesus. In five minutes, one repented, believed, and received pardon: “Today you will be with me in paradise,” Jesus told him. In five minutes the other hardened his heart, refused to believe, and entered eternity without Christ and without hope.

Don’t presume on your next 5 minutes. You may not have them. Many would spend a lifetime if they had it to redeem 5 minutes that changed the course of life. Not a single 5 minute segment of your life comes with a guarantee that you will live to see the 300th second of it.

“Look carefully then how you live, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16).

“Teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom” (Psalm 90:12).

We should number our 5 minutes as well.

The average life expectancy for a man in the U.S. is 78.7 years—28,725 days. That’s 8,272,800 five minutes in your lifetime . . . 288 per day . . . 12 per hour . . . .

Sounds like a lot. But you just spent one reading this.

Make them count.