To track the time is like counting your hours. In fact, since time is a gift, keeping track of it is like counting your money, counting your presents, or counting any other so-called good fortune. Perhaps that is why my watches keep breaking. No, really. At first, I thought it was just a plethora of time-device bad luck, but now I am beginning to think it is something bigger.
You already know how I feel about coincidences
— I don’t believe in them. Things just don’t happen
the way they do out of mere coincidence. That just seems way too petty for someone as great and good as my God. So, therefore, everything that happens must happen because it is supposed to.
Up until a little over 3 years ago, I always wore a watch. I had a few of them, but there were two that I was pretty darn fond of. I would alternate them — and then mix in the pretty, colorful ones for special days or to match special outfits.
Then, slowly, one by one, each of my watch batteries died. All of them. Our next door jeweler at the time was kind enough to replace the batteries in 6 watches. It wasn’t long after that they all died again. It didn’t bother me as much at that point because I was wearing my Garmin vivofit everywhere and it kept me apprised of the time. However, one day, on the spur of the moment, we decided to take a trip to the mall and I had all six batteries replaced again.
Unfortunately, before I could start wearing some of my favorite watches, they died. All of them. And then my Garmin started dragging with the time, slowing down until its inevitable death. My alarm clock which so perfectly shines the time on my ceiling still works but has recently stopped projecting the time. If I am honest, that was my favorite feature of the clock — especially in the middle of the night.
So, I did what every late night, one cracked-open eye, ceiling staring, time watcher would do — I jumped on Amazon and ordered a new clock! It arrived last weekend and, to my dismay, it does not shine the time on the ceiling unless I bump it. And, even then, it only stays on for 3 seconds. This does me no good when all the strength I can muster in the night is to lift an eyelid.
Then it hit me.
While in the shower this morning (the place where I have my greatest epiphanies) I had a thought: I need to throw out that new alarm clock! Or give it away! I am beginning to seriously feel like for some reason I am to stop keeping track of time. I need to quit counting the numbers. And, by purchasing that alarm clock, I actually feel like I went against the path I am being drawn toward.
Although it sounds great in my head, it seems goofy to share it. But, if you love planning and keeping track of time as much as me, you would likely be feeling strongly about this, too — especially when it appears that some greater force is insisting you stop.
I remembered this verse this afternoon, from James 4:
Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.” How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog — its here a little while, then its gone. What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” Otherwise you are boasting about your own pretentious plans, and all such boasting is evil.” — James 4:13-16 (NLT)
I carry my calendar everywhere I go (yes, a paper calendar because it lets me see the bigger picture easier). I am always making notes and making plans. I get anxious when we are running behind (which is common since my family runs on what I like to call “island time”). Simply put, I live my days by the time on the clock.
How do you not keep track of time living in the world we live in? Transportation, work, schools, deadlines — they all require us to keep track of it. I am not quite sure how to stop looking at the time and still succeed at life. But, I am sure it is possible with a lot of strength, just as with overcoming any addiction. And, I will start now.
It is time for me to let go. My wrist will now remain bare.
In their hearts humans plan their course,
but the Lord establishes their steps.
– Proverbs 16:9 (NIV)