One of my greatest fears is reaching the end of my life and realizing I’ve frittered it away. Maybe you fear that too.
I don’t want to look back with horror at the time I wasted scrolling Facebook or watching cat videos: a lifetime of two minutes here and fifteen minutes there that I could have invested in relationships, dreams, and eternity.
And this concern isn’t unique to our internet-saturated lives either. Thousands of years ago, Moses felt the futility of years spent wandering the desert. Like sand slipping through his fingers, his life wasted before him a few minutes at a time while meandering just miles from the Promised Land.
In the midst of this hopeless situation, he cried out to God:
“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12
Moses knew the danger of taking our days for granted, overlooking the gift of every moment we’re given on earth. And he did something about it.
Recently, I’ve been investing five-minute intervals in the important things in life. Just five minutes. Not a lot. But looking back, I’m beginning to see how that time is beginning to shift the direction of my days … and my life.
Can you relate?
Do you look at your New Year resolutions with disappointment because you’re nowhere closer to achieving them than you were five years ago? Do you ever head to bed wondering what you accomplished that day?
You can make your minutes count. Set a timer to five minutes, and start changing your life, one interval at a time. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Time with God
It’s easy to have an all-or-nothing mentality when it comes to spiritual growth. I tend to think, “If I can’t spend an hour in quiet time, then it’s not worth showing up.” But I’m discovering that five minutes of focused prayer can be more powerful than thirty minutes of distracted prayer.
Corrie Ten Boom once said, “Make an appointment to meet with God every day, and keep it.” That’s sound advice, even if your appointment is just five minutes long. If you don’t know where to start, join an online community of other people committed to a daily appointment with God, like one of these ones I love.
Great relationships are intentional, not accidental. Make time to invest in them, even if it comes in five-minute chunks.
If you’re married, set aside just five minutes a few times a week to hold hands and talk about life. Or just watch the game with him. Or sneak to the bedroom while the kids watch a show. Be intentional about spending time together; five minutes can go a long way.
Look at other relationships in your life that are important to you. Call a friend who’s struggling or surprise your pastor with a note of encouragement.
Most of us recognize that we should be more active than we currently are, but a full-fledged workout can be intimidating.
Instead, commit to moving just five minutes a day for a month. Find a simple routine that works for you or go for a brisk walk around the block. You’ll see remarkable improvements after just a few weeks of exercising just five minutes a day.
For busy moms, even taking a shower can seem like a luxury, let alone any beautification ritual you had before kids.
What can you sneak in for five minutes? Here’s a shortlist to get you started:
- take that shower
- paint your nails
- read a book
- take a cat nap
- slather on a fun-scented lotion
If you’re one of 81% of Americans who want to write a book, you know that it takes more to publish a bestseller than just daydreaming about it. Overcome writer’s block by freewriting for five minutes a day; in a year you’ll have written about 50,000 words or 125 pages. That’s a great first draft.
Perhaps you’re not a writer, but you’ve always dreamed of being a consultant, opening an Etsy shop, or learning to play an instrument. Stop wishing and take action. Right now, after you finish this article, decide what you need to do to make your dream a reality, set a timer, and do it. Then do it again tomorrow. And the day after. And so on.
A purposeful life isn’t determined by a grandiose commitment made on a sunny day. It’s a collection of intentional moments, each following another, lived to their fullest to honor the One who gifted us life. What are you going to do with it?
Welcome to Ungrind!
Do you want to be inspired, motivated, and equipped to live the everyday story of your life well?
If so, you’re in the right place. Whether you need encouragement in your relationships or in your faith, I hope you’ll find the transparent voices of mentors and friends here at Ungrind.
So, grab a cup of coffee and keep reading. We're so glad you're here!
Ashleigh Slater, Founder & Managing Editor
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