Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Time is an amazing thing! It waits for no person, and yet it has the ability to pass either far too quickly or slower than we could have ever imagined. Many folks who have visited our home get the impression that I am concerned with time because of all the clocks I keep. What they don't know is that my fascination is not with time, per se, it is with the various mechanisms that have been created to keep track of it. Yes, I do have a sundial! Yes, I love watches(I've got about fifty of them)and rarely wear one! When I was much younger serving a church as music director and youth pastor I had a senior pastor who was about the age I am now, an old guy! When he would step into the pulpit on Sunday morning he had a habit of taking off his wristwatch and setting it at the very top of the pulpit next to his glass of water. After about six months of working with him and observing this action from the director's postion with the choir I asked him about it. His reply was so funny I have never shared it, nor would I until his passing. His eyes were a lot like my own. After he removed the watch and set it down it was virtually invisible to him. Like many others I first thought that he set it there to keep track of the time he spent preaching so that none of the ladies would get fidgety about burning a Sunday chicken. When I finally mustered the courage to ask him about the removal of the watch and the "time" he spent so carefully placing it down he replied, "That's to put the folks out front at ease so that they don't have to look at their own watches. Have you any idea how infuriating it is to have folks looking at their watches after you've been preaching 15 or 20 minutes? There you are trying to help them to improve the quality of the time they have on this earth, here and now, and they're worried about me running late! It's like a "popcorn parade" out there if everyone(1st service was about 200, 2nd close to 300)is checking their watches at different times! I'm trying to share with them the Word of God for their lives right now, today, and they're worried that I'm going to take too much of their time! What they don't know is that time is all they have, right now, every moment, every second, to understand the good news that God has sent to them. No, that watch isn't for me, I can't see it anyway, that watch is for them, to help them settle in and relax a little." I can see him now in my mind's eye seated in his leather chair behind the walnut desk with a big smile on his face. Lord, I loved that man dearly. He taught me much in the time that we shared. He was right, you know, all we have is the time that we are given, and we need to be able to do the best that we can with it. I pray for his family this Christams, and the time that they still have together. I also pray for their reunion, which will come, in time! And in case you ever wonder, I've got the time to pray for you and yours, too! It is God that has given me that time, and I do my best to give it back as best I can. Merry Christmas!!! In Christ's Love, Preacher.