Looking out my window today I can’t see much as it’s still dark. With the arrival of fall also comes the arrival of shorter days. Actually it’s not totally dark outside. The roads are illuminated by street lights and there’s also the glimmer of the moon in the sky. In about a month we will “fall back one hour” as we change our clocks once again. Heading out of Daylight Saving Time – or Summer Time as some call it – we will find ourselves picking up the hour of sleep we lost in March.
What’s the meaning of all this? Why do we change our clocks? The concept of Daylight Saving Time was first put forth by Benjamin Franklin in 1784. It surfaced again in 1907 in the British Parliament and was instituted in North America during World War I and II taking advantage of longer daylight hours and save energy for the war production. In the late 1960’s both Canada and the United States passed legislation making Daylight Saving Time official in both countries as a way of promoting consistent economic and social interaction.
But what does this really mean for people personally? Many lament the idea of losing an hour of sleep in the spring and then celebrate picking up of an hour of sleep in the fall. However, do we really lose or gain an hour of sleep? Once you lose something – especially in the area of time and sleep – do we really gain it back? Probably not. Time is linear, so once it’s gone, it’s gone. It might make us feel good thinking if we sleep an extra hour we pick up the lost hour, but reality is, once time is gone, it’s gone.
I’ve been an early riser for quite some time. At first it was out of a sense of duty after I became a Christian. I always heard if you were really spiritual you got up early in the morning. Then I started working mornings at various radio stations which meant arriving at work around 4am. I’m still doing that today which means on most days – even when I’m off – I still rise early. I may not get up quite as early as I do when I have to arrive at the radio station for 4am, but I do find myself still getting up early. For me, there’s just something I like about getting up early in the morning. The smell of morning coffee in the air and the quiet of the morning, just seems so peaceful and is a great way to start the day.
We live in a hectic world. If we’re not careful, from the moment we rise, until the moment we go to bed, we will find our lives filled with busyness. Many times when people ask how we are doing, our standard response is one of “Busy!” But is this a good thing? Probably not. Busyness leads to burnout if we’re not careful. I’m not saying we need to be lazy, but we do need to step back and ask ourselves – How are we starting our day? How we start, will determine how we finish.
David declared in Psalm 5:3; “In the morning, O Lord, You hear my voice. In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch”. In Isaiah 33:2 we find these words; “O Lord, be gracious to us; we have waited for You to be our strength every morning”. In the New Testament we discover Jesus rising early in the morning as well. In the Gospel of Mark we’re told that “early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went away to a secluded place and was praying there” (Mark 1:35). There’s just something about “rising early in the morning” that helps bring a sense of peace and order to the day. Do you find your days filled with busyness and a sense of chaos? Why not try rising early in the morning just to ponder the peace, quietness and strength we find when we rest in God and give the day to Him to have His way in our lives.
Looking Out My Window is a regular column in the Northumberland Today newspaper located in Cobourg, Ontario, Canada.