When I was in high school, one of my favorite bands was Chicago; they had a song, the words went like this,
“As I was walking down the street one day, a man came up to me and asked what time was on my watch and I said, does anybody really know what time it is, does anybody really care about time, if so I can’t imagine why.”
Now for a guy who’s lived his whole life by the clock, that song always kind of haunted me. Always made me think there was something important being said. Does anybody really know what time it is, does anybody really care about time, if so I can’t imagine why. You and I live in a culture where we are ruled by the clock. Time affects how you and I live more than we even think about! It has a tremendous impact on our life. Three things I want us to consider about time.
#1 A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME
First, when you say to somebody, “Do you know what time it is?” What we’re actually asking for is the clock time. Clock time is relatively new in the last 150 years, even though people have been interested in time for thousands of years. Sundials were being used by priests and government leaders as early as 7,000 years ago. In 1504 the first pocket watch was created, but it didn’t keep time very well until improvements were made in 1759. By 1850, wealthy and powerful people all had pocket watches. In1884, the British at Greenwich, England decided to start a prime meridian or Point Zero. This revolutionized how we did business, how we traveled, and how we lived. Time could suddenly be measured not just in hours but in minutes. And of course, today, we easily measure time down to the second on our phones!
Before clock time, a very different measurement of time was used. In the third chapter of the Book of Ecclesiastics, it says, “For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to pluck up what is planted, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to breakdown and a time to build up, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.” Do you notice, those are all events, it’s not clock time, it’s event time. A time to be born, a time to die, a time to plant and
a time to reap, a time to laugh and a time to cry. You and I now try to cram so much into a 24 hour day because we’re focused on the clock and we tend to miss the events. When Jesus said, “I’ve come that you might have joy and that your joy might be full.” It’s an event, it’s an experience in the moment, in the present, now.
#2 HAVE YOU KNOWN GREAT JOY
When Marcia and I got married we discovered we enjoyed vacationing to experience new things together. We especially loved the times when we could get away and not look at our watches. We simply put them away. Now, it is considered a restful time, not only to put your watch away, but also your phone, tablet or computer! It’s so freeing to get out of bed when you feel rested, eat when you’re hungry and take a nap when you’re tired. Your day unfolds based on what you feel like doing in the moment. Once you live this way for a number of days, you become very disoriented! Without the clock, you live the experience and it’s freeing to suddenly be in the moment and experience life rather than allowing it to be dictated for you.
We don’t have to go on vacation to experience event time. When we slow down we can experience the joy in every day simple moments like having a cup of coffee with a good friend while sharing memories and laughing or holding a baby and looking into that child’s face. Jesus said, “I’ve come that My joy might be in you and that your joy might be full.” (John 15:11)
#3 HAS YOUR LIFE BROUGHT JOY TO OTHERS?
Does your life bring great joy to others? When you experience the joy of Christ it opens your eyes to bring joy to the people around you. When your life brings joy to someone else,
it gives you great joy. It becomes a wonderful cycle of life that continues when we start in the presence of Christ. Has your life brought great joy to anyone? Maybe 2019 can be a time when we decide not to be controlled by the clock and we decide to experience more events, to know great joy and to live a life that brings joy to another.