Thursday, December 30, 2010

Sometimes the smallest things...


     Once again I find myself apologizing for the span of time since we have last come together.  I really don't have an excuse except to say that I have been directing my energy towards other writing projects.  That  doesn't mean that this project is less important.  It simply means that I only have so much time in my day and I have to prioritize!  Speaking of time I want to share a story with you about that very subject.
     I love my children!  That is a statement that comes out of every parent's mouth whenever, a) their child has just done something so miraculously incredible that their pride of said child is about to make them burst at the seams, b) their child has done something so miraculously loving towards said parent that the parent feels an overwhelming sense of love towards said child, or c) their child has done something so miraculously inept, funny, crazy, or dumb that the parent must first qualify their statement with I love my children but...! My story begins with answer C!
     Let me reiterate that I Love My Children! The story that I am about to share with you is true!  I have not changed any names to protect their privacy.  I have not changed the setting or any of the dialogue as to attempt to make it funny, believe me there is no need!  What you are about to read actually happened.  As Charles Dickens wrote in A Christmas Carol..."you must believe this or nothing great can come from the story I am about to tell".
     The story begins on the morning of November 7th 2010.  For most of you that will sound like any other day of the week.  For some of you you might recall it as a Sunday.  But for you to really get the meat of the story you have to realize that Sunday, November 7, 2010 was the end of daylights savings time!  You know the day I am talking about.  Spring forward Fall back!  Easy, right!?  Well, evidently not that easy for my daughter.
     I know that when , or if, she reads this she will be mortified!  Steph, I am not doing this to poke fun at you but, darling, this story has to be told!  For those of you who are new to this site or to my family let me catch you up to speed.  My eighteen year old daughter just started her first year at college.  Now, once again I have to say, I love my daughter.  Stephanie has always been our bubbly, loving, and smart little girl.  She has a love for the Lord and actions that back that up.  It's do I put this?  She is a little dingy!  Maybe dingy isn't the right word.  Maybe, the appropriate word would be innocent? no! naive?
    With all of this said I return you to that fateful morning when most of the country dutifully turns their clocks back to enable us to have more daylight at the end of our day. It was a Sunday so I had already headed to church to begin my work day.  Right before it was time for Christine and Jake to come to church I receive a call from Christine.  Through her laughter she relays a conversation that her and Stephanie had earlier that morning.  I cannot be sure but I recall the story beginning with the words, "That daughter of yours...". Now, bear in mind, whenever those particular words are used the words that follow cannot be flattering to my daughter or me.  Somehow that phrase is a cryptic way of stating that whatever my daughter had done she had done so because she was accessing my chromosomes that resided in the shallow end of my gene pool.
    Anyway, Christine goes on to tell me that my daughter had called to find out what time it was!  That's right, my daughter, who had graduated in the top ten of her class, was calling from a college, in which she had received academic scholarships from, to find out what time it was!  It seems as if the stars had aligned just enough to throw her perception of the space time continuum into a frenzy.  I then find out that she was so confused by the complex system of daylight savings time that she was not even sure what church service she has attended.  Normally, she attends the 8:00 AM service at First Presbyterian of Greeley.  But, not knowing exactly what time it was she was unable to identify whether she had just sat through the contemporary or traditional service.  The verdict was in.  God had somehow conspired to throw the cosmos out of balance just enough to confuse my daughter's faith practices!
    I don't think she would have been so confused about the time of day if she had not been let down by the technology of the day.  Most of you know that most computers and cell phones dial their time stamps by switching their internal clocks to daylight savings time on or off accordingly.  However, when you fail to tell your computer what time zone you reside in it has a tendency to want to guess.  Unfortunately, Stephanie's computer guessed wrong!  Therefore, my daughter faced a true dilemma that would have stumped Einstein himself.  She was faced with a computer that indicated one time, a cell phone that indicated another, and a car clock that, since it had not been manually changed, indicated another time.  It appeared that, improbable as it might seem, Steph's car was in one time zone, her dorm room in another, and, according to wherever she glanced at her cell phone, another!
    Now, hearing this story, one might muster up the compassion to give Stephanie a break on the whole, "what time is it", blunder.  I could not muster up such compassion.  Thinking that I had prepared my daughter so well for the challenges she would face as a responsible adult I failed to recognize that I might have to educate her regarding the changing of her clocks.  Needless to say I felt like a horrible parent.  Not because of my failure to prepare my daughter for time changes but, rather, because I saw a wonderful opportunity to mercilessly tease my firstborn child.
    In a real sense her timepiece blunder was normal.  How many times have you caught yourself being unable to find your bearings in any given situation?  How many time has the busyness of the day or the calendar that was overloaded caused a 'time change" effect?  Granted, Steph got ensnared by a clock that need to be adjusted.  Sadly, most of us suffer from a life that needs adjusting.
    As we begin a new year we turn our calendars from 2010 to 2011.  And as much as we like to think that this time change will be a new and fresh start we rarely act on that feeling.  The old ways of the old year follow us into the new one!  In a real sense we are no better at adjusting to a "time change" as Stephanie was on that fateful November morning!
    I challenge each of us to recognize the new year that is upon us.  I challenge each of us to take a moment and rid ourselves of those things that keep us from the true task at hand.  On November 7th Stephanie was not sure which church service she had just attended...but she had attended one!  Maybe this new year will find you setting aside some Sunday to attend a church service that you have rarely attended.  Maybe this new year will find each of us setting aside time to work out our faith, strengthen our relationship with God, or making that first effort to seek out the one who created you.  Stephanie may not have not known what time it was that Sunday morning but she knew where she was supposed to be on Sunday morning.  Sis, as long as keep remembering that Dad doesn't care what time you think it is!  I love you sister!  You make me laugh when I want to cry, find hope when I think there isn't any, and realize that true innocence still exists in this world.  I wish I could be more like you!
    May the new year find you exploring new paths on your journey home!