This week we all had an event that we all had to participate in. You couldn't say "No, I don't want to". This was for everyone, and no one was given the choice to refuse. What was this event? If you remembered that you had to conform and change your clocks an hour ahead as we began this past week, then you guessed right! We all did it, like it or not! I have mixed feelings about this twice a year time change though perhaps our lawmakers will stop this from happening in the future. And I am okay with not having to reset our clocks in our house and cars. I am grateful that some clocks are programmed to update their time with no help from me! And this reminds me that there is going to be time coming when something will happen that we have no choice about. The time of judgment is coming. Do you have mixed feelings about it or are you confident in the outcome? But there is also this--God does not force us to do anything. We always have a right of choice. Freedom! I sometimes do not make the right choice, even though I am free to choose.
There is something about this issue of time that does bother me though. I confess that my head cannot handle the concept of time. When we travel, I have to leave my wristwatch set on "home" time and then add or subtract one or 2 hours from that in order to figure out what I should be doing at that hour. Otherwise, I get myself so confused trying to get it all figured out correctly. I am pretty immature about it aren't I? But it makes my life so much easier if I just don't change my watch time! Or change the time on the car clock either! Another time change problem I have is that I don't like the extra hour of daylight on Friday night that I suddenly get this time of year. I might be just one of a few that appreciates the early sundown time on Friday nights during the winter. I grew up in a home that taught me to respect the hour and the minute that Sabbath begins each week and likewise to value the time we get to spend in rest and time with God until 24 hours later and to enjoy every minute of the day he asks us to set aside to spend with Him. My parents were careful to have the preparations for Sabbath completed on Friday before sunset and that habit, I learned in childhood has stuck with me through more years than I want to think about. If things didn't get done before sundown, then they just didn't get done and would wait for another day. I know that my mother was very careful to have the meals for Sabbath hours prepared well before time for Sabbath evening. Our world today is considerably different from the time I was a child observing and learning. We all have water that comes into our homes, we don't have to make sure that we have brought in enough to make it through the hours of Sabbath. We all have electricity and gas to (most of) our homes and do not have to bring in wood or coal for heating and cooking. I am so thankful for the conveniences we have. Preparing for the Sabbath has taken on different meanings now compared to back then. Still, I do like to remember what God has asked of us and to remember that things that can be done to prepare ahead should be done. I want my rugs to be shaken and the dishes done, and the laundry put away and bathroom cleaned, and Sabbath food prepared. It makes me feel so much more ready to be able to enjoy Sabbath. I like having a long Friday evening for study and relaxing and family and for listening to KRJE. I like knowing that my preparations for Sabbath are as done as I could make them done or if something didn't get done, I don't have to keep on trying to get it done! Time is up and I will have a whole next week to get it done. But amazing enough, I generally manage to get it done most of the time. Even on the shortest Fridays of the year. And now---I think I need all of the extra hour plus sometimes to get it all done before Sabbath starts. And then I am deprived of the time to study and relax and for family and for KRJE. The question I am asking myself--If you can get it all done by 4:30 on the shortest of days, then why do you need the extra time after daylight saving time changes? I truly don't! I just need to prepare better. And it makes Sabbath a delight and gives to God a small part of what He has given me. And guards the minutes of His special day that He wants to spend with me. I need to avoid the temptation to work until sundown!
All this thinking about time and remembering back, set my thoughts on another path. Knowing how old I am made me think about how old my parents were when they started their family and how old their parents would have been--my grandparents--when my parents were children. After thinking and doing some math, it occurred to me that my Grandparents were alive at the same time as Ellen G. White. I had not stopped to think about that before. No wonder that I heard from them so often about her and her writings. She and her counsel were very important and precious to them. They probably even heard her speak. They so often read her books, especially about the Sabbath. She was their special messenger from God. Today, we don't seem to have that same appreciation. They might shake their fingers at me and say why not. Ellen White has a lot to tell us about how precious the Sabbath is and should be. Her counsel--"There is another work that should receive attention on the preparation day. On this day all differences between brethren, whether in the family or in the church, should be put away. Let all bitterness and wrath and malice be expelled from the soul. In a humble spirit, 'confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another.' Before the setting of the sun let the members of the family assemble to read God's Word, to sing and pray. We should jealously guard the edges of the Sabbath. Remember that every moment is consecrated, holy time."[The Faith I Live By, 34.] My resolve--I am going to try harder to be ready to spend time with God on Friday night!
Another week has passed and still there are people in Ukraine that see bombs falling all around them. I know how I felt going to bed one night, looking out the window and seeing the forest above on fire with flames reaching high in the sky. We did not know if we would have to evacuate during the night. It was pretty eerie. Many of these poor people can't evacuate for many reasons, many have been in hiding for more than a week. How do they remain so calm? I am sure that I would not be that calm. It is only with knowing God that we can have peace of mind no matter what trouble comes. I pray that whatever trouble is coming my way that I will have peace.