What Time Is It?

What did you do with your extra hour?  If you live in the United States (except Arizona and Hawaii), you gained an hour on November 4th. 

If that is news to you, you're welcome.  Now you know why you seem to be early to every meeting and your favorite TV shows seem to be on at the wrong time.  Go ahead - take a moment now to set your watch or clock.  Then continue reading.

As a pastor, I much prefer the end over the beginning of Daylight Savings Time.  Since the clock-changing times always occur on Sundays, the ending of DST allows for even the late-risers to make it to church on time or, at least, closer to on time.

Several years ago (long before we carried computers, aka smart phones, in our pockets), we could not depend on electronic reminders of the nationwide hour change.  So, on one Sunday, my wife and I commenced with our morning routine of readying ourselves for church and then drove to the church building where I served as Minister to Students.  To our surprise, the only person there was the Building and Grounds Manager who was unlocking doors and switching on lights.  I did not recall any dispute or member-uprising from the previous Sunday that would have caused a Sunday morning boycott.  The helpful manager, noticing the confusion on our faces, offered a grin on his face and then kindly asked a question to which he knew the answer, "You forgot to set your clocks back, didn't you?"  I cannot recall how we spent our extra hour; I hope I helped him ready the building.  Whatever we did, I do remember thinking how grateful I was that our forgetfulness had not occurred in the spring.  It is not a good thing for the Minister to Students to arrive late to minister. 

Ever since that day, I change our clocks about midday on Saturday - just to be safe.  I do so in order to avoid a repeated mistake. 

Some mistakes result in more harmful consequences than arriving to church one hour earlier.  How can we avoid those more costly mistakes?  We can take steps that are similar to setting clocks at midday.  That is to say, we can take preventive measures such as . . .
- Count the cost.
- Say "I'm sorry."
- Say "I forgive you."
- Don't judge a book by its cover.
- Keep your promises.
- Don't set unreasonable expectations (for yourself or others).
- Train your children in the way they should go.
- Listen to your parents.
- Listen to Lady Wisdom (see Proverbs).

Those nine actions are but a small sample of the near countless steps you can take to avoid costly mistakes.  Each step you take will draw you closer to God and, therefore, to a life well lived.


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