I was due for a physical exam recently and since my doctor in Wallace is retiring it seemed wise to go to a new doctor.  Of course, this new guy thought I ought to have my “Welcome to Medicare” tests that up to this point I had successfully dodged.  You know the ones where they tell you three words and then expect you to remember them. 

So they gave me the three words and then they asked me to draw a clock with the hands pointing at 3:00 o’clock.  I drew something similar to what you see in the photo. The PA kept the original drawing as a “bench-mark”.  (I think that means evidence for when I have my intake evaluation.) I started singing that old song from the band Chicago: “Does anybody really know what time it is?  Does anybody really care… about time?”  The PA was not amused. 

The thing is, we DO care about time.  Time has become an enemy that we fight on a daily basis.  We use phrases like killing time, wasting time, losing time, making time.  We are constantly frustrated that we don’t have time to do the things we want to do.  It seems that God messed up somewhere along the way by not giving us enough hours in the day or enough years in our lives.

As I read the gospel stories of Jesus, I hear a different message.  A pastor friend of mine said it this way, “Jesus was never in a hurry.  But he was never late.”  Even when others were rushing Jesus to get here or there, he never seemed to run out of time.  Jairus wanted him to hurry so he could heal his daughter.  Friends met them on the way, saying, “It’s too late.”  But he wasn’t.  Mary and Martha called for him to hurry and come when their brother Lazarus was sick.  When he got there, Lazarus was dead.  They said, “You’re too late.”  But he wasn’t.

Years ago, I came across a poem composed by Michel Quoist.  The poem ends with this: “I am not asking you tonight, Lord, for time to do this and then that, but your grace to do conscientiously, in the time that you give, what you want me to do.”

Oh, in case you were wondering…I know I drew the clock wrong.  The little hand should be on the 3 and the big hand on the 12.  And you thought I was losing it!

By Dr. Jim Baldwin

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