RON McCLUNG

This weekend we “spring forward” by setting our clocks ahead one hour before retiring tonight. Living by Daylight Saving Time or by Standard Time is all that most of us have ever known. Twice a year, we either move ahead one hour or step back an hour and adjust our clocks accordingly.

I read the other day about when we began to standardize time. In the 1840s, the Great Western Railway in England tried to synchronize travel according to station clocks set up in train terminals and coordinate them by telegraph transmission.

Then in 1878, Sandford Fleming of Canada proposed a formula for dividing the Earth into 24 time zones. Each zone covered 15 degrees of longitude. In 1884, the International Prime Meridian Conference adopted Fleming’s idea and we have observed time zones ever since.

David Jeremiah suggested that people of faith have a time zone all to themselves — call it Divine Standard Time. He cites Psalm 139 as a basis for this idea.

The psalmist David saw that God was uniquely and intimately involved in all our days.

He said, “Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (v. 16).

Jeremiah also cited Psalm 90, where we see that God has a unique perspective on time: “A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night” (v. 4). The psalmist sought the Lord’s wisdom when he prayed, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (v. 12).

Jesus seemed to live by Divine Standard Time. Near the end of his life he said, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified … My appointed time is near” (John 12:23, Matthew 26:18 NIV).

As we turn our clocks ahead this weekend, let’s remember that time is precious. Let’s live each day with a prayer that God will help us use our time wisely.

— The Rev. Ron McClung, a former pastor of Owosso Wesleyan Church, now living in Indianapolis, Indiana, currently serves as the assistant general secretary for the denomination.

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