Daylight Saving Time. There are few events in life that evoke as much joy on one occasion and angst the very next time it rolls around. You probably have mixed feelings about it yourself. Why? Because one time it grants you an extra hour of sleep, such as this November 5, and the very next time it steals that hour back from you and makes the early service at church that day the lowest attendance of the year!
Benjamin Franklin is credited with the idea of daylight saving time in 1784, though it was never enacted in his lifetime. The US didn’t give it a try until 1918. It’s puzzling that we call non-saving time “standard” time, despite the fact that standard time is only four months of the year. I ask you, “Is that really standard?”
Daylight saving time was instituted to save energy, especially in times of hardship such as WWI and energy crises. But there have been other interesting effects as well. In September of 1999, West Bank terrorists created time bombs they handed off to their Israeli counterparts. But because Israel had just switched back to standard time, the terrorists misunderstood the timing and the bombs exploded while they were being put in place, killing three terrorists instead of the dozens of people at their intended target.
There are also several instances of twins being born on “Fall Back Sunday” where the older was born just prior to 2 a.m. (the official time to change the clocks) and the younger was born after, but the birth certificate says the younger was actually born first. Or, if you choose to ride Amtrak overnight on Fall Back Sunday, you will come to a dead stop at 2 a.m. and sit for an hour so their trains arrive at the same time as other nights.
I’m sure we could debate the pros and cons of daylight saving time. Personally, I am for it every fall and against it every spring. There is no shortage of lawmakers who are proposing that we “Lock the Clock” and stop observing the annual adjustment. There are an equal number who want it left like it is.
Truthfully, the decision to leave it or change it doesn’t capture all that much of my attention, but what does is the boldness to make the change in the first place. It seems like it’s not all that big of a deal to borrow an hour that is given back before the year is through, but it is actually a huge change. It requires everyone to make a coordinated change at a precise moment. It was hard enough getting my two daughters to leave for school at the right moment, let alone syncing up with the rest of the country!
Well actually, that’s part of the problem, too. The whole country doesn’t go on daylight saving time, let alone the whole world. So, the time difference between people changes. Then we’re told that the time change has an impact on people’s health and increases the number of fatal car accidents and more. That one little hour has a huge impact. Yet for the sake of other benefits, we make the change.
It seems to me that’s a great lesson when it comes to the church. How easy is it to look at a needed change and say, “That would be too much work,” or, “We’ve never done it that way before.” Whenever there is a hill to climb, it is far too easy to find an excuse for why we shouldn’t even attempt it.
It may be you have fallen prey to such a mindset in your life, or work, or ministry. It can be attractive because it seems easier and doesn’t require much of anyone. But what I would submit to you is that the easiest choice is rarely the best choice. As I think of the things we have attempted at Pathway, the ones with the biggest payoff have been the hardest ones. Just think of the effort and energy required to start the church 42 years ago. Certainly there had to be easier options, but a few handfuls of people said they didn’t want what was easy, they wanted to follow the Lord’s leading despite the cost. We could highlight so many other choices through the years that haven’t been easy, but taking them on resulted in advanced ministry.
Fast-forward to today. We recently opened a brand new children’s wing. It was not easy. There were significant costs of time, resources and finances. The same is true regarding the work left to do with the building remodel, the development of the Orkarkar project and providing new wells. But despite the required work, I can’t even imagine not going forward. The work is definitely worth the effort because of all that is required.
Sure we could have refused to go after these priorities, but the temporary ease would have left us outside of God’s will. Instead, we are at a place where we are making a difference in people’s lives literally around the world and where we have an exciting new ministry facility that will help us impact lives with the gospel and the Word. It is all possible because people have gone, and continue to go, ALL IN. It hasn’t been easy and it has required sacrifice, but it is totally worth it!
So, as you consider the Lord’s call on your life, understand that the way there probably isn’t the path of least resistance. But if you’ll make the effort and be willing to do the hard thing that might even seem undoable, you may just find the power to get it done and the favor of the Lord along the way. And that’s a path worth following. And should it require more time of you, you can get started well with your extra hour when we fall back!