By Mark A. Taylor
I’ve been thinking this week about change. Not the pennies and nickels in my pocket, but the change that most of the country observed Sunday at 2:00 a.m. That’s when Daylight Savings Time kicked in, leaving many of us yawning the next morning.
Even though 49 of 50 U.S. states observe Daylight Savings Time (somehow most of Arizona has stayed exempt), some of us still chafe under the mandate to lose an hour of sleep each March.
“The change in the spring is always hard for me,” a friend said Saturday night. We had been trying to “feel” like it was an hour later our whole time together as four of us enjoyed our evening. But it wasn’t working.
At church the next day I talked to friends who were sharing their strategies for getting up on time, keeping their kids awake, or getting to a worship team run-through when their body clocks told them it was 6:15.
The morning hadn’t started well for my wife and me. All Saturday evening we had been talking about the fact that my Sunday 7:00 a.m. wake-up call would feel like 6:00. I had that number so fixed in my brain that I mistakenly set my alarm for 6:00 after bumping the time one hour forward.
When the alarm buzzed, my wife protested, “It’s six o’clock!”
“I know,” I said self-righteously, only half awake.
“It’s Sunday. You don’t have to get up till 7:00!”
“Oh, I’m so sorry,” I sighed as I turned off the alarm in the dark and reset it for 7:00—I thought.
Thirty minutes later I woke up with a start and looked at the clock, which now said 7:30. “Oh no, I’m going to be late!
“It’s only 6:30!” came the voice from the pillow beside me.
I had reset the time, not the alarm.
When we crawled out of bed about 30 minutes later, we decided to boot up the computer to verify we had the time right.
My long-suffering wife didn’t growl or even scowl at me; in fact she was smiling by the time we left for church. This is exhibit 4,938 of grace in action in my marriage. I love that gal.
But I’m writing all this not only as penance but also as I ponder how difficult change is for most of us in any situation. My church has a new minister, and new growth, and plans for new service times and new approaches to worship leading in the near future. We’re seeing many new guests, and multiple baptisms every Sunday. It’s exciting.
And difficult. Our Sunday-morning routine is being upset. We don’t really know what the new services are going to look like or when we’ll want or need to attend. It’s uncomfortable. Just like getting up at six when the whole world has decided, “No, really, it’s seven.”
But that world needs the gospel message we’re extending at my church, and our changes will make room for more of them to hear it.
I, for one, am supporting the changes. Maybe I’ll write more about that in another column, after I’ve had a few full nights of sleep.