Archive for October 2015

Is Time Really on our Side?

October 28, 2015

By Dr. Steven J. Callis

The clock on my office wall is one of six chronometers in my 180 square foot study space. I like clocks! This one is unique in that its numerals count forward from the left, and the hands on the face run counterclockwise. In other words, the hands point to the correct time, but the numerals are on the opposite side of where they appear on a standard clock.

I do not qualify as a collector of timepieces, but they do fascinate me. Another clock in my office has the appearance of a football scoreboard and includes time, date, and room temperature. It was a gift from my kids, as was the one that features a golfer swinging a putter in time with the seconds that tick away.

Novelist Mitch Albom wrote an intriguing story, The Time Keeper, depicting how man came to measure time, along with the benefits and consequences of doing so. I happened across it on a sale table and was curious enough to spend the four dollars, recognizing the name as the writer of the better known, Tuesday’s with Morey. It is a thought provoking work that you might enjoy, as I did.

Time is my topic today because November 1 is the established date to “fall behind,” as it were. Some people refer to it as enjoying an extra hour of sleep, though I usually get involved in something on that night which keeps me up later than normal! Nevertheless, at bedtime we turn the clocks back one hour, giving us the impression of “gaining” an extra hour for…well, for however we decide to use it.

Could you handle the responsibility if you had the power to control time? Often in a football game there are coaches on both sidelines, the winning team hoping time will elapse quicker, and the other team wanting even a few extra seconds on the game clock to score one more time.

The Beatles sang about 8 days a week, the Rolling Stones believed that time was on their side, Jim Croce wanted to save time in a bottle, and The Turtles took their cue from the Bible book of Ecclesiastes to inform us that everything has a season and a purpose under heaven – – turn, turn, turn!

You already know that we do not gain actual time November 1; we simply change the time on our clocks. Next March we will reverse the process and “lose” an hour, so to speak. The only power we really possess to affect time is our freedom to use it according to our own priorities and decisions. While we cannot always tame our responsibilities and shoulds and oughts, the ultimate accountability for our stewardship of time remains with us individually.

Be thankful for the time you have. Let’s be careful to learn from the past, live in the present, and aspire for the future. We cannot control time, but we can learn to make it work for us.