Could someone please answer a question for me? What is the purpose of Daylight Saving Time? I know that originally the time factor was key for farmers and for school children, but does that still hold? How does moving my clock ahead one hour save anything?
We are now in the second week since the beginning of Daylight Saving Time this year. The common phrase is “Spring Forward, Fall Back.” A couple weeks ago on Sunday at 2 a.m. we were all supposed to move our clocks ahead one hour (to 3 a.m.). That meant that if we forgot to change our clocks and then on that Sunday morning we came to worship at the normal time of 10 a.m., it was actually 11 a.m., so we would have missed the major part of our time together. Are you confused yet? I have always said that the hardest part of the whole thing is staying up until 2 a.m. to change the clocks.
But once again: How does moving my clock ahead one hour save anything? When I think of savings, I consider putting something aside for investment purposes, gaining some sort of interest, low though it may be, and reaping some sense of a reward for the discipline of saving. In basic philosophical terms, I have always felt and heard that the one thing you can never save is time. Time passes minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour, and day-by-day. You only have one shot at time, and it does not reap more time as you invest it. You never get a second chance to spend a minute here or there. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. And you never get two minutes for every minute you save. There is no interest gained for your investment.
I once heard of a man who loved dogs and always wanted to have a dog as a pet. He could not afford to keep a dog because he had inherited a cat. The man hated cats, so he called his cat “Dog” and thought that somehow that would satisfy his desire for a dog and his hatred of cats.
It seems to me that with Daylight Saving Time all you are doing is renaming something you already have. It does not gain anything. Now, I know the claim is that it saves daylight to make it more useful, but really all this does is make the daylight last longer in the evening hours. It is renaming the hours.
Sometimes I get the sense that we do the same things with spiritual principles that we do with time. Someone comes up with a new term and it sounds so exciting, but in reality it is simply the old stuff under a new name.
When you get right down to it, God calls us to a life of discipline and discipleship. That is hard work. There are no magic formulas to make it easy. We do have the Spirit of God living inside of us, but it is still discipline and discipleship. In Paul’s letter to the church at Ephesus, we read these words: “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16).
How do we make the most of our time? It starts with spending time with Him each and every day in studying the Bible and praying. As we do that, He calls us to make a difference in our world, wherever that may be, and He challenges us to remain faithful to Him regardless of what the world around us may be saying or doing. He then promises to use us in whatever way He can.
You cannot save time, at least in order to gain more time. But you can invest time in order to gain more fruit for eternity. As I consider the whole purpose of Daylight Saving Time, that is what I want to do with the additional daylight hours which we are experiencing — “spring forward” to bear fruit for eternity.
Chuck Tabor is a religion columnist for The Times-Gazette and a former Hillsboro area pastor. He can be reached at [email protected]