WHAT TIME IS IT?


            It was an autumn day in perhaps, 1967. I arrived at the church, a small Methodist Church in Ft. Myers, Florida, just in time for Sunday School. There was one small problem; the parking lot was empty, the door was locked, nobody was there. Perplexed, I asked myself, is it Sunday? After some reflection I assured myself it was. I knew that church attendance everywhere was falling off, but this was ridiculous. Of course, eventually I discovered what the problem was; daylight saving time. I had forgot to set my clock back.

            Fast forward. It is 2007 in Salem, Indiana. The date is October 28, a Sunday. I awoke, checked the time and arose. I needed to set my clocks back. The calendar in the kitchen said this was so. I called time and temperature, and sure enough, the time was set back an hour. I arose, went through my morning ritual and arrived at the church on time; just as others were leaving. Church was over; I was late. My son, the pastor said they changed the “law,” that we don’t turn our clocks back until next Sunday, November 4th. I tried to argue, but it was to no avail so I headed back home. En route I called time and temperature, just to make sure. I was right, they had reset their time. I went straight to the kitchen when I got home. The calender said to turn your clock back today. Something was wrong. I have other calendars in the house so I checked them and they said nothing of changing the time. I turned to the November page and it said, change time November 4th. Evidently the calendar in the kitchen was printed before they changed the time-change date, and someone had forgot to tell “time and temperature.”

            I was exasperated. Why don’t they just put us all on Greenwich mean time and we would all have the same time all year long and all over the globe. Of course that would mean that some are up and about at night while for others it would be daylight. But so what? Go far enough north, or south, on the globe, and they have days on end with no darkness or no light. If they can do it, so can we. But upon further reflection I realized that that just wasn’t going to happen. So what to do? Lord just come and get me and take me out of this world, this mess! The Apostle Paul said, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” I would be better off in heaven where I wouldn’t have to put up with all this insanity. But then I realized that Paul went on to say that to stay here on earth was needful so that he could be a witness and an example for the lost, the unsaved. Thus I and other true Christians, the only sane ones around, would have to remain here in hopes of salvaging others from the insanity of this world that engulfs us.

            The cause of my exasperation? The lack of discipline in our society; we try to adjust reality to fit our desires, rather than adjusting our wants and lusts to conform with reality. Indiana on Central Standard Time, where it originally was when the time zones were set, is 20 minutes behind the sun. On Eastern Standard Time Indiana is 40 minutes ahead of the sun. On Eastern Daylight Saving Time we are about 1 hour and forty minutes ahead of the sun.

            Of course to contend for Central Standard Time for Indiana is to put oneself in the class of a fanatic. The newspaper, the Louisville Courier-Journal, which some of us affectionately call the Louisville Communist-Journal, has written that in contending for standard time all year we are, as they sarcastically put it, contending for “God’s time.” Evidently, to want to do things God’s way is to be an ignorant nincompoop. Oh well, as the Psalmist has told us: “Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.” So I guess I’ll just have to stay here a while longer. Since that is so, may I ask just one favor? Will somebody please tell me, “What time is it?”