Tinkering with Time

Guest Blogger:  Annette McDaniel

“Lost yesterday, somewhere between Sunrise and Sunset, two golden hours each set with sixty diamond minutes.  No reward is offered, for they are gone forever.”

Horace Mann penned this to emphasize the value of time — still it makes me uneasy.

If I dawdle over that second cup of coffee, am I wasting time?  What about in past summers when I lounged on my deck in the cool of the morning and watched the swallows swoop toward the creek, chasing gnats.  And I can spend more than two golden hours (diamond minutes and all) watching a sunset fade from orange to pink to indigo before the stars wink on one at a time.  God’s handiwork at it’s finest!

And please don’t tell me that people-watching is a waste of time!

After retirement I removed my watch and vowed that I would sleep late and free myself from anything that buzzed,  beeped or chimed me awake.  Unfortunately, I forgot to inform my internal clock.  Attempts to go back to sleep were futile.  My eyes popped open at 6:15 a.m.   It was years before I could convince that persistent nag in my brain to let me sleep longer  Even staying up later did not work.  I was groggy but wide awake at that arbitrary hour each morning.

Of course we need to keep track of appointments and important events (meal-time and visits with  friends come to mind).  Time must be considered too when traveling but, since the airlines ask us to arrive at least two hours imagesahead of scheduled departure, aren’t we wasting time?   Unless we are people-watching?

Do we like it in the spring when daylight-saving time robs us of that one hour we will not recoup until November?  We can thank Benjamin Franklin for that.  In 1784 he extolled the virtue of the concept because it would save candles.  Years later our federal government agreed.  After diddling with the issue, around World War I to save fuel, Congress convinced the country,  post-World War II to observe daylight-saving, nationally. Eventually the Uniform Time Act of 1966 was passed with the last of the hold-out states coming on board as late as 2005.

Our perception of time is also an issue.  Time is relative to the observer.  With children, special occasions seem as if they will never arrive.  Later in life, birthdays come around with speedy regularity that some folks would just as soon forget.

King Solomon once observed that “to everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.”  Our task is to find our purpose and pursue it.  Time flows like a river.  One can sit on the bank and watch it flow, or launch out.  Choosing to go with or against the current is our option as well.  Either way, time spent doing what we were created to accomplish is never wasted .

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