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.