Turning back the clock

Published 2:33 pm Friday, November 1, 2019

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Earlier today I checked to see when the fall time change takes place—November 3.  By the time you read this it will have already happened and we will be getting our internal clocks readjusted. 

It is pretty simple to turn back a timepiece—at least in theory.  But the clock of life is impossible to turn back.  As Gale and I rode around town last Saturday afternoon we noticed a large gathering of young people adorned in fine attire as they participated in a photo session.  They were recording memories as they enjoyed one of those special times in their lives—high school homecoming.  While Gale and I did not involve ourselves in too many of such activities during our high school days, it did cause me to think back to a time when we were much younger.  And with the realization that in that bunch of young people that we had just admired was one of our grandchildren, there was a reality check—we are starting to get old!

As our discussion continued I asked my wife if she would like to be eighteen again.  I guess she enjoyed the thought, although she and I were already married before she turned eighteen and a few months after her nineteenth birthday she had our first child.  That was a different day, though, and even after making such a major decision so early in life it was the beginning of a beautiful commitment that we both still cherish after almost forty-two years.

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We can’t turn back the clock of life, but we can look back with gratitude at the good things that have come our way.  As King David joyfully recalled God’s provision during a victorious time for him and the Jewish people, he penned these words:  “Glory in His holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.  Remember the wonders He has done, His miracles, and the judgments He pronounced”  (1 Chronicles 16:10, 12, New International Version).  It is healthy and encouraging to take the effort to recall God’s goodness in the past so that we can have the courage to face the future.

As we look back, we can also see some areas that God has enabled us to overcome.  We have all had trials, hardships, and even failures along the path of life.  Yet we can rejoice that through trusting God, victory is realized.  As Scripture states, “This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith” (1 John 5: 4b).

And then we can gain confidence to move ahead in our spiritual journey with God, allowing Him to continue to instruct us and guide us toward what He has in store for us in the future.  Philippians 3:13b contains wise direction for us:  “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.”  If what is behind is the best that we expect in life that greatly limits our progress as a child of God, but when we know that He has greater things in store for His children than we could ever fathom we have reason to press on.  As Paul, the writer of Philippians stated it, “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus (3:14).

Are there days when I look back and think about what it was like to be young, strong, and vibrant?  Absolutely.  But I don’t remain there.  Neither you nor I can turn back the clock, but we can press ahead in our faith in Jesus Christ.