Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Stuck Seconds

By Elisa Morgan, Publisher, FullFill™, President, Mission: Momentum

I looked up at the clock on my bookshelf, just as I’ve done a zillion times a day for years. Odd. No time seemed to have passed. Hmmm. I typed away and a bit later, checked again. Same time. Oh. It hit me - the battery had died.

Picking up the clock, I headed for the kitchen battery drawer, grabbed my all-purpose tool (a bent up letter opener), pried off the cover, popped out the old battery and snapped in a new one. Replacing the cover, I turned the clock over and twisted the hands to the correct time displayed on my microwave. There.

I returned to my study, replaced the clock on my shelf and sat back down at my computer. After a few minutes, I checked the time. Same. The clock wasn’t working. Oh, well, I thought. The clock had to be twenty years old. But I left it in place, thinking that maybe it would “decide” to work later in the day.

The next morning I took my place at the keyboard and just a few minutes into my work, I was annoyed by a sound. An irritating clicking sound I’d never heard before. I searched my office and at last found the source: the clock. The hands still had made zero progress but not for lack of effort. Now the second hand repeated its valiant effort: marching forward and back, forward and back, forward and back. Continuously. Ongoing. Unhesitatingly. With zero progress to show. It was stuck. Time had stopped.

How symbolic. In “stuck” seasons, I feel like this clock. I do all the right things to coax movement and motivation into progression. I change my “battery” and reset my “hands” to the correct time and...zip.

I laughed.

David writes, “My times are in your hands...” in Psalm 31:15. He’s talking about God’s vengeance on evil-doers - not everyday stuckness - but I think it’s safe to say that the point of the phrase remains true. Solomon echoes such theology in Ecclesiastes 3:1: “There’s a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven...” A time to move and a time to stay. A time to roar out of the starting blocks and a time to remain. A time to swoop downhill, coasting home and a time to stand and stare at the far-off, seemingly unreachable horizon.

And in all, a time to trust that our times are in his hands. When the hands tick tock clockwise around the circle, marking each dash in precision. And when they rock back and forth in place, making zero progress.

My clock is on another shelf in my study now. I removed the battery and with it, the annoying click. But the hands remain as they were: stuck. It’s a good reminder that my times - all of them - are in God’s hands.

Update for all FullFill™ readers: FullFill™ is on hiatus this summer. You’ll continue to receive your Weekly ReFill each week, linking you to articles and resources to help you live out your influence. Be sure to register for upcoming webinars at our umbrella ministry: Mission: Momentum (www.missmo.org).

1 comment:

  1. Elisa, I've felt like that clock myself! Also so thankful we can trust God with our lives. He knows where He's taking us. He knows the perfect time for all things. Thank you Jesus!