this is a problem because that is its’ sole purpose, its’ only function – to keep the time, to display the time, to tell me what the correct time is. a very simple, single minded job description. no other job responsibilities involved – just tell me the time, the correct time. but my clock doesn’t know what time it is, and hasn’t for the last four weeks!
Now there is a reason for this. It’s called daylight savings time. yes, my state falls back and springs forward, giving us an extra hour in the fall then, changing its’ mind and taking that hour back from us in the spring. and not only that, but they have changed the weekend that this happens over time, it has not stayed the same. This further confuses my clock which hangs on the wall in my family room, faithfully keeping the time or more truthfully sporadically losing track of the time.
Some might say my clock is broken or is haunted or is trying to trick me; but I know the truth – my clock is confused. All this switching of the time back and forth and this switching the weekends that we switch the time, leaves my clock behind or ahead until it can figure out how to once again display the correct time. Usually this takes about four to five weeks, depending on when the change used to occur and when it took place this time.
If you are wondering why I don’t just set my clock straight by resetting it myself (which I have tried numerous times in the past) it is one of those self-regulating clocks that thinks it knows the time better than I do. So no matter what time I set it to, it will revert to whatever time it thinks best. My clock doesn’t care what I think, what I know, or what I want.
So what good is a clock that doesn’t tell the correct time? (not much if you ask me, just taking up space on my wall) Jesus asked a similar question when He said, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.” Jesus continued saying, “You are the light of the world. . . . Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.” (Matthew 5:13-15)
Then I read these words in James, “What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but had no deeds? . . . You see that his (Abraham’s) faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. . . . As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” (James 2:14, 22, 26)
Unsalty salt, hidden light, faith without actions; these are like a clock that can’t tell time; like my crazy, confused clock. Unable to fulfill their intended purpose; unsalty salt, hidden light and an inactive, unpracticed faith are of no use to anyone. I may not always feel salty, shiny or faithful but that is my calling in Christ, even if I don’t always know what time it is. (but that is my confused clock’s fault, not mine) I am told to be salt, to let God’s light shine out and to live out my faith on a daily basis.
For me, faith must be a verb, not a noun. Faith is expressed in acts of obedience and service to God and to others. “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” (James 2:17)
I don’t want to live life like my confused clock, not fulfilling my purpose for being. I find my identity and my purpose, not in who I am but in Who I belong to. “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10)
“In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
My clock may be confused, but I am not. My mandate is clear. “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)
sincerely, Grace Day