The Pendulum

January 2, 2015
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Acts 4:13 – They couldn't take their eyes off them — Peter and John standing there so confident, so sure of themselves! Their fascination deepened when they realized these two were laymen with no training in Scripture or formal education. They recognized them as companions of Jesus. (MSG)

I love old clocks. Their soothing, clockwork heartbeats are a comforting reminder of the passage of time, as opposed to the cold and impersonal digital timekeepers of today.

A decade ago, I decided to collect old clocks. There followed a few years of attending auctions and garage sales, and paying close attention to the "articles for sale" section of the newspapers. I acquired mantle clocks, regulator clocks, and even a grandfather clock that was missing a pendulum.

The different size of each clock, the quality of the movement, even the type of wood and its density make each sound individual and produce different gradients of tonal warmth. The downside of my collection, for some members of my family, was that I kept the clocks running. So every quarter hour, half hour, and hour, there was a cacophony of chimes, from soprano to bass, Ave Maria to Westminster.

The grandfather clock, however, remained silent. Continued shopping trips produced a lyre pendulum, but it was the wrong size, so I hung it on a wall beside a regulator, just because it looked lovely. It remains there to this day, and as I watch it, it brings to mind the grandfather clock, now relegated to downstairs — silent and alone. This causes me to think of how so many people in this world are struggling through life's storms and stresses without knowing Jesus, experiencing an emptiness that can cause sadness or a feeling of hopelessness. So many times, we read about individuals who ask themselves, What is this life all about? or Why am I here?

We are all equipped with moveable, physical parts that function well, for the most part, responding to signals from the brain. Even our emotions are responses to everyday happenings and are designed to help us deal with unforeseen glitches and overwhelming change. There's a fix, patch, or app available for almost all of the physical or medical help that we need. But even if all of our physical parts work properly and in unison, people need a spiritual pendulum to produce a balanced rhythm and to ensure that the spiritual guides the physical. When a pendulum is properly adjusted, the perfect balance can be achieved. Our spiritual health needs the perpetual motion offered by God. And we can access that, daily.

My pendulum is Jesus, and for God, I want to demonstrate that pendulum for others. With a smile or, if appropriate, a few words, I want to be an example of how He has changed my life. I'd like to be able to start something ticking in the minds of those who are searching for purpose in their lives, or who are simply having a bad day.

We are not perfect, but with God's guidance, we can start a movement towards Him in other people, perhaps filling a gap that will answer their longing for meaning in their lives. What a joy it is to awaken each morning knowing that He is still offering the impetus we need to make the best of another twenty-four hours. As we begin a new year and think about the passage of time, let's share that joy with someone today. Let us ask God to provide just the right words at just the right time.

Prayer: Let us pray using the lyrics to the tune of the Westminster Quarters:

    Lord, through this hour,
    Be Thou our guide;
    So, by Thy power,
    No foot shall slide.

Dear Father, Lord, continue through Your Spirit to direct us in how to show others the way to Your saving grace. We know that we are not learned, but help us to confront their personal denial by simply using a few meaningful words at the right time, so that Your will may be done. In the name of Your Son Jesus, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Deana Weyman <>
King City, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Good word Deana from a fellow clock lover.

    That is an amazing analogy. Thanks for sharing it.

    Thank you Deana very ‘timely’ for me and for the day.

    Your words were much appreciated. Happy New Year!

    Deana, Thank you for sharing this devotional lesson with us. The silent “Grandfather” troubles me. Praying you find the right pendulum so that he will spring to life. Blessings.

    What a perfect devotional for this second day of January 2015.

    Thanks for a wonderful devotional, Deanna.
    My husband also has a similar interest and we hear many chimes both upstairs and down. He built a beautiful grandfather clock from a kit from the Murray Clock Craft company. You would be able to get the right pendulum from them.

    Lovely message.
    I, too, love the soothing presence and tick-tock of clocks. I have a beautiful wall clock that fills the air around it with its sounds, until it needs to be rewound (8-day). The room always feels so empty when the clock stops.
    Thank you for your devotional and a happy and blessed New Year to you and yours.

    Dear Deana,
    Thank you for the devotional.
    I especially liked what I copied here because it is my prayer, as it is yours, that I will become more and more a witness to help others to come to faith in Jesus Christ and grow in His Word and Way to win others — on and on.
    Keep writing.

    Dear Deana
    It gives me great pleasure in telling you that reading your devotion put a new feeling in my life and even though I keep my thoughts on Jesus at some point I do stray and I really need to be more focused and be a PENDULUM.
    Thanks for your lovely and inspiring devotion. Looking forward to reading more of them soon.
    God Bless.

    I loved your contribution.
    My husband loves antique clocks as well, but we cannot afford to purchase any or keep them maintained. We do have a grandfather clock which is in our dining room and has the Westminster chimes chiming away each and every day. My husband suggested that if the manufacturer of your silent grandfather clock is still in business they might have a pendulum.
    Happy New Year!
    Hugs and blessings.

    I enjoyed this meditation, Deana. The clock’s pendulum is an effective metaphor for spiritual realities: They are alive – or rather, HE is alive!
    He moves. He makes a sound! I remember the sense of reassurance in the steady rhythm of the pendulum and the constant background ticking sound of our family clock. I would feel unsettled whenever the clock became silent: Something was wrong. However, it is not that way for me anymore.
    I have become accustomed to silent clocks. For those who have never known this experience, and who know only silent clocks, the sound and motion of a ticking clock can be disturbing. It is like that for those who have never known the steady motion of the “pendulum”, Jesus, and known only silence – spiritually speaking. They will instinctively strive to restore the death silence, and resist the ticking Life of Jesus. If we are “ticking” with Jesus, some people around us will attempt to silence His Life stirring within us – even as others are drawn by this same movement.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Deana.

    A VERY interesting and warm devotional. I really enjoyed the allegory of the clocks. I too enjoy tinkering with “old” things like getting old cars to run again. Recently, I got a 1947 outboard to run again, just as it did when it left the factory 70 years ago. One thing I have learned about “old” things: they were made to be ‘fixable’ – just like God made people. There is no soul ever created that is not ‘fixable’ by the power given by Jehovah to Jesus!
    If you cannot find the “right” pendulum, make one – it CAN be done! I would be very surprised if the ‘Lyre’ pendulum could not be re-weighted and adjusted to run your clock. That’s what we did with my father’s 140 year old mantle clock brought from Scotland. Don’t give up – your solution is just a prayer away!
    Blessings to you and those you love.
    (Northern Ontario)

    Thank You for this wonderful devotional. Really touched me with your analogy with the grandfather clock. I too collect & repair clocks, all sizes, shapes. Plus can relate to the hour, quarter hour and so on chiming, I set mine spaced slightly apart. So interesting and I think of the craftsman who have created each part. I try and visualize them diligently working & wonder what their thoughts were when not too focused on their task, also where they hung sounding out the time for the occupants of the home they hung.
    Thank you for being the vessel that FATHER pours out HIs words through you.
    I ask in JESUS name that FATHER rain down HIS blessings of health, happiness & prosperity until you receive your last earthy blessing when you are taken by the had to your new eternal home.

    Thanks for the article!

    Hi Deana,
    Thank you for this devotional. Apart from the Biblical truths it also reminded of the few years we lived in Austria. One of my fellow workers bought a lot of old clocks and was taking them back to the USA to sell but when he got home he could not part with them.
    Wish you and your a very blessed New Year.

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