Early this morning, we advanced the clocks ahead an hour to start Daylight Saving Time for the spring. Officially, we moved to DST at 2:00 a.m. this morning, but like we do each spring and fall, we moved the clocks earlier in the day – in fact, I did it late afternoon. You see, Janet and I are real clock lovers and we must have close to 30 clocks that we have to adjust – and that doesn’t include our watches or the cars! Every now and then we miss one, but then we find it in the next day or so. Sometimes, adjusting the clock on the furnace thermostat or the fax machine may get skipped, but I always seem to remember that we have to adjust our security system and that is usually a challenge.
When Janet and I were young, I used to enjoy going around the house with Dad and change the clocks. It was no big deal back then. We only had several clocks and it didn’t take more than a few minutes to get to all of them. I loved the idea of getting an extra hour or sleep in the fall and how, almost mysteriously, we lost an hour in the spring.
There were a number of years during our time here in Indiana when we didn’t change the clocks at all. It was a really big deal in the state legislature and the people of the state opted for simplicity. I really like the fact that we didn’t have the semi-annual ritual to contend with – but it did take some getting used to – watching programs on eastern time in the winter and then adjusting to the programs on central time in the summer. It made for some interesting travel as well – trying to figure out which time we were on when we headed east or back to Chicago.
But that all changed and we went back to join the majority of the country a number of years ago. To this day, it usually takes a few days for people to adjust to the change. It is light a little longer at night, a concept that was even acknowledged by Benjamin Franklin in Paris back in 1764. But nothing happened with moving the clocks until the early 20th century in this country and there have been several changes in the dates to “spring ahead” and “fall back” since the inception of DST.
As a boy, my grandfather would announce the day of the adjustment of the clocks and let me know that on the spring date, I would have to “sleep fast.” By that he meant that we wouldn’t get a full night of rest and in order to feel okay the next day, we would have to fall asleep as quickly as possible and hope that we didn’t wake up much – only by following that routine would we get enough deep sleep to allow us to awaken refreshed and ready for the new day. I still think of those conversations today and to be sure, the advice is sound – getting enough rest is more important to me now than it has ever been.
There are many verses in the Bible about sleep. Some of them have to do with standing watch and making sure you do not get caught falling asleep. But others express the love of God for His people regardless of whether they are asleep or awake. And that is the content of tonight’s verse. We are told by Paul, in his first letter to the Thessalonians, in 1 Th. 5:9-11, “For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”
My encouragement this evening is that God has provided a time for us to sleep each day in order to rejuvenate ourselves. And the best rest comes from laying our problems at the feet of Jesus. My prayer is that you will take God up on His offer to give us rest – the kind of rest that only comes from having an intimate, authentic relationship with the true living God. And when you have that, you won’t necessarily need to sleep fast, even if it is the day that we move the clocks. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…