It’s Sunday evening, and that means it is time to wind the clocks. Janet and I are big clock people; and we have four timepieces that require winding each week. My grandfather always told me that clocks should be wound the same time every week, and this keeps them running smoothly. And since we were first married, and acquired our first clock, Sunday evening has been the time that we chose to do our winding chores.
I have loved clocks as far back as I can remember. When I was a child, my grandparents had a clock in their living room. Appropriately, it was a “grandfather” clock and was quite tall. It had been bought back in the early 1920’s when my Mom was first born. My grandmother’s father, my great grandfather, owned a furniture store on south Halsted Avenue in Chicago, and the clock came from the family store. In fact, I remember the original receipt on the back side of the clock case.
Each week, on Sunday, Grandpa would open the front of the case and wind the clock, lifting the three weights to just below the clock face. There were settings for Westminster, Canterbury and Wellington chimes; and at the beginning of each month, Grandpa would change the setting so we would hear a different chime.
As a very young boy, I remember going to my grandparents home after school. Grandma always made us take a nap. I would lie down on the red mohair sofa in the living room and listen to the tick tock of the clock. I would watch the second hand move, around and around, until our thirty minute naps were over. It used to be agony, counting the seconds as they ticked by, but as I got older, I learned to appreciate the soothing effect of the clock, constantly keeping time, never changing, always there, year in, year out; a reliable constant in my life.
I used to love watching Grandpa wind the clock – how carefully he inserted the key and unlocked the door, and how particular he was about making sure he wound the clock the same way each week. I used to stand next to him and wonder if I would ever be tall enough to wind a clock like that. And there was something that I decided there and then – that I wanted to make sure that if I ever had a clock it would be taller than I was. I never cared for those little “grandmother” clocks that were five feet tall. I wanted a tall one!
When my grandfather finally died, back in 1972, Grandma came to live with us, and so did the clock. It was in my parent’s front hallway, and eventually, when Dad, and then Mom, passed away, my brother Doug got the clock. It sits in his front hallway to this day. But it’s not like we don’t have our own clock. Because Grandpa had a law partner, a woman by the name of Ruth. And Ruth’s dad had commissioned a beautiful mahogany clock that he had built in 1876 in Germany. It actually has a wooden pendulum and although it is not as elaborate as the clock from my childhood, it is beautiful, at least to us. Ruth never married, and didn’t have a family, so when she decided to sell the clock, back in 1976, Janet and I bought it, for $400. We still have it, and it is has never needed a service call, other than the periodic cleaning Matt, our clock guy, does on occasion. And now our clock is more than 135 years old, and still ticking! In fact, I can hear it as I am writing this post – tick, tock, tick, tock………
I guess that I am very lucky in one regard – and I have my grandparents and parents to thank for that. Nothing disturbs me when I sleep. I don’t even hear the chimes unless I am already awake. Sometimes, house guests, like Nancy (Janet’s mom), like the clock to be turned off – it disturbs her sleep. But all our kids have learned throughout the years to fall sound asleep to the rhythm of the hallway clock marking the seconds – and the minutes, and the hours, and the days, and the weeks, and the years, and yes, even the decades – a sentinel that has counted the march of time in our family since Kristin was one year old.
And you know what? Christ is just like that as well. He stands with us, second by second, and is with us through thick and thin, marking time in our lives as he demonstrates His love for us, not just on this earth, and not just for decades, but through all eternity. And he is steadfast, dependable and predicable for those who love Him. And while we wait for Him to return, or to meet us in heaven, we have work to do. Somehow, it seems appropriate that I should use something connected with time for the verse tonight. So…
Peter commands us to live in humility with one another. In 1 Peter 5:5-7, we are told, “…God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” Great advise for all of us.
My encouragement this evening is to affirm that God loves you, and He is ready to take on your problems. In fact, He already has. So cast your fears and your problems on Him. And my prayer is that you will try to live an exemplary life of humility in preparation for being lifted up by Christ, in due time. Because we all like humble people – those who display a Christlike nature as they progress through life. A tough order, but one worth working toward. Have a great day in the Lord.