Holidays allow time to reflect, reexamine life
This Week News
December 4, 2014
What time is it? Our most natural reaction, when we hear this question, is to glance at our watch or clock.
In 2004, I worked in an elementary school in Arizona where students took turns each morning announcing the date, time, daily lunch menu and special events over the intercom from the principal’s office. One day, when the students looked at the clock on the wall, they couldn’t read the time so the principal told them.
The clock they could not read was analog; the “old fashioned” clock with “hands” most of us older than 30 used learning to read time.
Staff learned of this situation when the principal visited each classroom. When she saw all clocks were digital, analog clocks were ordered for the entire school.
The principal realized it’s a digital age, but she knew the importance of knowing how to read clocks both ways.
We use time to mark most things in our lives. The song, Turn! Turn! Turn! , written by Pete Seeger in the 1950s, during a relatively stable time in our country, was made popular in our more turbulent 1960s when recorded (on vinyl, not digital) by The Byrds. It’s all about the value of time. Based on the Book of Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 the lyrics tell us:
“To everything – turn, turn, turn, There is a season – turn, turn, turn, And a time to every purpose under heaven.
A time to be born, a time to die, A time to plant, a time to reap, A time to kill, a time to heal, A time to laugh, a time to weep.
A time to build up, a time to break down, A time to dance, a time to mourn, A time to cast away stones, A time to gather stones together.
A time of love, a time of hate, A time of war, a time of peace, A time you may embrace
A time to refrain from embracing
A time to gain, a time to lose, A time to rend, a time to sew, A time for love, a time for hate, A time for peace, I swear it’s not too late!”
Are you singing or humming along? I listened to it online and sang along, remembering and being amazed Bible verses were made popular in the mainstream music industry.
Last month began what advertisers call the countdown to Christmas, marking shopping days left. I prefer to dwell on the purpose we celebrate on December 25 which leads into the time for celebrating the end and start of another year gone by. Often we take this time to reflect and reexamine our lives, maybe making a resolution to stop something unhealthy and become more healthful-minded. The latter might happen as a result of indulging too much in the good food everywhere we turn, including our own kitchens, especially with the sweets we love during this time.
We might resolve to exercise more, lose that extra weight, volunteer, study harder, spend more time with family or friends and more.
Whatever we resolve, or not, it is a time to start fresh with a new year. We see depictions of Old Man Time with a flowing beard passing the New Year to a baby representing the new months ahead. He ages fast, eh?
When I look back at my 6-plus decades, I wish I had been more present in the moments and not always pushing for the future. I see our grandchildren growing taller, smarter, and more talented than us (thanks be to God), and hope they will learn from our experiences and be more aware of the everyday blessings surrounding them.
My 92-year old mother has the right idea. She says this year she is reversing her age making her a mere 29. She said she can do this every decade for the first four years meaning I’m only 36 this year. Ah, to have this experience and a more youthful physique. How often have you heard or said, “If I knew then what I know now…”
My wise mother comes in again to tell me that as we age we have more time to reflect yet time seems to move much faster. “When we’re young, we are raising families and working just trying to get it all done each day before collapsing into slumber (unless we have a sleepless baby).”
Whether you read digital or analog clocks matters not. It’s how you spend the time that counts.