The Time Change and Using God’s Time

Daylight Saving Time (DST) has kicked me to the curb this year! I love the hour we gain in the fall, but this “Spring Forward” thing is ridiculous. The person who said that for every hour you gain or lose, it only takes one day to adjust didn’t have my circadian rhythm! It has been 5 days and I’m still whacked! Ben Franklin, an early advocate of the time shift, may have said, “Early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise,” but I don’t think that DST proves the point. It proves the opposite for me. What do you say?

Studies have made conflicting claims over the years about the benefits and drawbacks of DST. Those in favor say that it saves energy, promotes outdoor leisure activities in the evening, and provides more time for shopping. Yay for more daylight to cook out, play a round of golf after work, and go fishing. Others have said that since most mischief happens in the dark, the extra daylight cuts down on crime.

However, the cost benefit for electric usage is negligible if you compute the cost of turning on lights for longer periods of time in the mornings while it’s still dark, and using them less in the evenings because it’s light. After all, most of our big-ticket home electrical systems run constantly, and don’t give a rip what time it is.

On the other side of the issue are those who claim that DST costs as much as $40 billion in what it takes to adjust clocks, computers, and even the stock exchanges. Health officials have concluded that DST increases the risk of heart attacks by 10%, and changes in sleep have a direct correlation to poor work performance. Contrary to the popular opinion that DST was created for the benefit of farmers, they are some of the biggest opponents of it. The rationale is that grain is best harvested after dew evaporates, so when farmers or their help arrive at earlier hours and leave later it causes quality problems with the products, especially if you depend on someone with paid-by-the-hour drivers, harvesters, and trucks whose schedules have been rearranged by the time change. Dairy farmers also complain because their cows are finicky about the timing of milking which is dictated less by the sun as much as it is by when the dairy company sends their trucks.

So I am confused, since there are both benefits and disadvantages. I just know how whipped it has made me feel this week, and I have a spouse who works in the education system who says that everybody is dragging a lot more this year. In the discussion of pros or cons there is one thing that’s clear: Nobody is talking about the time change from a religious perspective.

Is there a valid theological reason to have DST? To be sure, I know that I should use the Wesleyan Quadrilateral of Scripture, Tradition, Experience, and Reason to figure it out, but I’m not – I’m too tired! It’s not that big a deal, right? But there are more than a few Scriptures about time and its use. II Peter 3:8 says, “With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” Psalm 39:4-5 and James 4:14 declare, in similar ways, that life is very fragile and transitory. “Our time on earth,” as one writer puts it, “barely registers on the eternal radar screen,” so we better use our time wisely.

That’s the essence of Ephesians 5:15-16 where Paul cautions, “Be very careful, then, how you live – not as the unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” Jesus’ “Parable of the Talents” in Matthew 25:14-30 basically says the same thing – use your talents and time wisely! One of my favorite passages about the use of time is Proverbs 6:10-11, “A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest – and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man.” I like the poetic imagery, but I must admit that the workaholism that is promoted is a little too American, not that I’m pro sloth, but “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”

The bottom line is that we need to make the most of time and I simply wonder if Daylight Saving Time actually helps! What do you think? Has DST helped your Lenten spiritual disciplines or set you back more than forward, pun intended? Give a listen to the Byrds and their rendition of that famous time passage, Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. This has helped me wake up and enjoy the day better than most things this week. How are you doing?

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12 thoughts on “The Time Change and Using God’s Time

  1. I also seem to be having a more difficult time adjusting to the time change this spring. Perhaps it is a sign of my advancing age. My late grandmother, born in 1892 and living 98 years, once said in regard to these time changes, “They’ve got no business messin’ with the Good Lord’s time!”

    1. Amen to her! I agree! tim

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  2. Tim, I’ve been griping and grousing about Daylight Saving Time all week long, especially on Facebook. So you KNOW I want to pick up this post of UM Insight. Until your post, I never thought that DST could have a theological perspective. One more thing for my Lenten contemplations. Thanks!

    1. Cynthia, I’m with you! tim

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    1. Thanks, Pat! Down with DST! tim

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  3. I’m with you Tim!  This week has been a real drag and I can’t seem to get enough sleep!  I hope that next week will see an end to the drags and an appreciation for the longer day light. Blessings to you and yours! Linda

    From: A Potter’s View To: lindajdurant@yahoo.com Sent: Thursday, March 12, 2015 11:43 AM Subject: [New post] The Time Change and Using God’s Time #yiv4074886489 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv4074886489 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv4074886489 a.yiv4074886489primaryactionlink:link, #yiv4074886489 a.yiv4074886489primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv4074886489 a.yiv4074886489primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv4074886489 a.yiv4074886489primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv4074886489 WordPress.com | wtmcclendon posted: “Daylight Saving Time (DST) has kicked me to the curb this year! I love the hour we gain in the fall, but this “Spring Forward” thing is ridiculous. The person who said that for every hour you gain or lose, it only takes one day to adjust didn’t have my ci” | |

    1. Linda, Always good to hear from you and I hope we adjust soon! tim

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  4. Tim, I just read this blog about time and enjoyed it very much. I lived in Phoenix for about three years where they don’t change the time. The Indians control most things and did not go along with the government about changing the time.
    The sun was still out at 11:45 PM, and there was no need to prolong a day any longer. The heat was intense and we did not need more for the sake of a time change.

    I find it interesting that the farmer who I was told would benefit was not happy with the change.

    This may be a way to sell more clocks, more fire alarm batteries, more fire alarms, more sleeping pills, more flash lights, more flash light batteries,just about anything that affects you being in the darkness not by choice.

    I sometime wonder whether we do things because it has been done that way for years. We love tradition and hate change. So this time change is a combination of both. Tradition, we have done it for years and change that it does to our lives.

    On a Spiritual note Easter Sunrise Services would deal with a different schedule. It would get light to quick and attendance would be down???

    I wish you the best Tim and miss you in Columbia.

    Chuck Sovick-President Ashland United Methodist Men

    1. Thanks, Chuck, for an insightful reply, tim

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  6. DID THE APOSTLE PAUL PRAISE FALSE TEACHERS? BY STEVE FINNELL
    Did the apostles Paul praise the false teachers of his generation and of past generations?

    What was Paul’s attitude concerning the Judaizers and those who lied about the resurrection?

    THE JUDAIZERS: Galatians 5:4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.(NKJV)

    LIED ABOUT THE RESURRECTION: 2 Timothy 2:17-18 And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, 18 who have strayed concerning the truth, saying the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some.

    You will notice the apostle Paul did recommend any books that were written by the Judaizers, Hymenaeus, nor Philetus. Paul did not commend them by quoting them in a positive light. The apostle Paul did not applaud, nor advocate reading books and Bible commentaries written by these men. The apostle Paul did praise men who were guilty of perverting the doctrines of God.

    What was Paul’s message concerning those who pervert God’s word?
    Galatians 1:6-9 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, 7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so I now say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. (NKJV)
    Galatians 1:6-9……..8 Let God’s curses fall on anyone, including myself, who preaches any other way to be saved than the one we told you about; yes, if an angel comes from heaven and preaches any other message, let him be forever cursed………(The Living Bible—Paraphrased)

    That was Paul’s message to those who pervert God’s plan of salvation.

    The message we hear from Christian leaders today is quite different. Their message we hear all too often is to praise the books of those who pervert God’s doctrine, recommend buying their Bible commentaries, quote them in a positive light, extol the virtues of their teaching methods, and applaud their accomplishments.

    Why would Christian leaders praise men who?

    1. Deny that water baptism is essential for salvation.

    2. Claim there will not be a bodily resurrection from the grave.

    3. Teach that men are saved by grace alone.

    4. Proclaim that men are saved by faith only.

    5. Declare that their denomination can add to the Scriptures, because God is revealing new truths through their religious leaders.

    6. Teach that their denomination (their church) is the final authority in faith and practice and that the Bible is simply an aid to their truth.

    The apostle Paul did not praise false teachers. The question remains, why do Christian leaders of today applaud the works of those who pervert God’s message.

    Posted by Steve Finnell at 3:55 AM
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