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Stability in an unstable world

By Jim Killebrew

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[March 10, 2014]  Before we went to bed on Saturday night, there was a chore that had to be completed. Everyone knows what it was: moving each clock in the house ahead by one hour. Each year around springtime, it is a chore that has to be completed when the daylight saving time is initiated; this year it was March 9. Since the actual change is set for 2 a.m., it is acceptable to change clocks the night before so the next morning they will be the correct time.

For all of my older, antique clocks, it is a chore, since they were made many years before the automation could be built in. For the newer quartz or digital clocks, however, when they were created, the manufacturer programmed the springtime date and the fall date to automatically change the clock at 2 a.m. to maintain the correct time. The alarm clock we have is one such clock that has built-in automation that resets the time at 2 a.m. on the dates of the time changes. On the morning the change was to be completed, it did not work for my clock.

It seems that since that clock was manufactured, the government has changed the dates on which the daylight saving time goes into effect. The same is true for when the time returns to standard time in the fall. So now on the new dates the clock remains the same, until on a later date the clock changes according to the way it was originally programmed. So, the clock becomes unreliable on at least four days during the year: twice in the spring, on the day it doesn't work and again on the day it does. The same thing happens in the fall.

There are many circumstances in life when the instability and inconsistency of change has made things rough for those who prefer to depend on reliability. We are warned about dietetic restrictions with one research report; then later, after another "study," we are told to forget those restrictions because it has been found the restriction, as it turned out, was actually beneficial rather than damaging.

I wonder if people do not secretly long for stability in their lives as they experience on a daily basis the motions of instability. Dependability is something we count on as we put our trust out on the limb of life, hoping simply to be safe by the day's end. We work and play each day of our lives, facing the unknown during the next, future minute of our lives. What was stability yesterday becomes a flotation device today; and by tomorrow we are lost in the sea of change that engulfs our safety and security.

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As we look around the world, we see the instability and fragile existence of unstable situations that place thousands, perhaps millions, in the precarious predicament of loss. It could be Russia invading Crimea, the leader of North Korea ordering the execution of Christians, the Islamic world beheading a woman for simply talking to a man who is not her husband, the creation of nuclear weapons to annihilate and entire civilization, the loss of a job, or not being able to find a job, or a simple court decree that begins the separation of two people who once loved each other enough to promise in vows not to separate "until death" parted them.

Like that alarm clock that was created with a chip inside its body that assured it would keep the correct time even when the time changed, we have a built-in, created longing for something to fill the void we feel as we sojourn daily through life. That something is a connection to eternity that somehow we know exists outside ourselves. When the changes of life, both scheduled and unscheduled, begin to take their toll, we want that stability of "knowing" all the more.

We have that foundational rock on which the stability of our lives may rest if we just accept it. A familiar voice whispering through the breeze many have listened to for their entire lives is the still, small voice of the God of the universe who is simply saying, "I love you." A most familiar passage in the entire Bible is, "For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life; For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world should be saved through him."  John 3:16-17 This is a promise of stability for eternity.

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever!"  Hebrews 13:8


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