Monday, August 22, 2016


We celebrated another birthday at SPPC last Sunday.  Max has turned 18.  We had cake and sang for him.  He was embarrassed.
We do the same when people turn 80 or more.  They are rarely embarrassed.  Funny thing, I've never seen anyone in the congregation celebrate a 39th birthday or a 44th or any of those other middle-aged numbers. 

Humanity seems obsessed with the measurement of time. We invented calendars to mark the days, weeks and years, hourglasses to measure the hours, sundials, water clocks, candle clocks and mechanical clocks to measure minutes and seconds. We wanted more precision so we invented quartz oscillators and atomic clocks and the high-tech timekeeping devices used at the Olympics that can measure 100ths of a second. (There was still a tie for the gold medal in women's 100 metre free-style swim.)

To counteract all this preoccupation with how small a moment we can measure, the Long Now Foundation, is building a 10000 year clock. It will tick once a year, bong once in a century and the cuckoo will come out every millennium.   According to this Foundation, modern technology has so encouraged us to expect instant information, instant response, that we've forgotten how to think deeply. News media don't think past the next deadline, politicians don't think past the next election, and students don't think past the next exam.  The 10000 year clock is intended to encourage people to think in long terms, longer even than our own lifetimes. 

The Bible has something to say about time, too.  Perhaps the most well-known verse is Ecclesiastes 3:1 "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven."  But there are others.  Consider "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." Is. 40:3. Psalm 31:15 reminds us "my times are in Your hand . . ."

Whatever the season of your life, youth, old age, or those middle years,  may you live it to the fullest, with trust in God's good timing.

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