The first time I remember punching a time clock was at Harris Pine, where I sorted and graded wood as it came flying down the conveyor belt from the line saw operators. Depending on whether they were racing to see who could cut their pallet of wood fastest or not determined the rate in which my fellow sorter and I had to work. If we missed a piece it hurtled down the belt to certain destruction–the chipper. We were compelled by our bosses to become methodical robots, grabbing wood as it reached our peripheral, flipping it, checking for knots, where they were located, how big they were, then putting it in its place or letting it go to the chipper. Over and over, hours on end, this is what I did till I got to ‘punch out’ to ‘punch in’ to the next thing in my day, lunch, school, sports, home, homework, dinner, chores…
Sadly, the time clock and the conveyor belt are actually very symbolic of my life. If you’ve been following my blog at all you know that I like checklists. I’m also competitive. Throw me as much wood as you can and I’ll show you I can keep up, grade it properly, AND I won’t lose one good piece to the chipper.
If you think about it, the majority of us are like that. It usually starts from the time we wake up. We dutifully ‘punch the clock’ with a devotion (or not), jump on the conveyor belt and head to the gym, then off to work, lunch, business meetings, kids, school–we like to see how much we can pick off the conveyor belt of our day–then we ‘punch out’ in bed. Routine–a common sense kind of day–if you are like me, is what you thrive on it. We never stop to think of the sacredness of our day, our month, our year–‘get ‘er done’ is our motto.
God on the other hand says, “You are not your own,” which also means, “Your time is not your own.” It has been an interesting journey for me as I’ve been learning this concept. It’s true, there is still a conveyor belt day of things to do but when we do all to the glory of God with Him perpetually in our mind and heart, the day becomes moments and moments become opportunities. When I first realized that I didn’t have to live in the peripheral, always preparing and looking for the next thing, event or person to bring me joy…but that I could actually live IN the moment, enjoy each moment, I realized how much God was in my day. It was like switching into slow motion, conscious of moving from moment to God filled moment, being aware of each second ticking by.
In order to keep this short (sorta), I would like to end with this thought or suggestion. If you invite God into your life (‘punch in’) upon waking up and ask Him to fill your moments that day–then every moment of that day becomes SACRED, right!? Our conveyor belt life continues on but we are always available to ‘work’ for Him. However, His ‘work’ cannot be categorized into segments of the day, but it comes with awareness of the moments, the needs, the calmness in which you live those moments and the sense of God being in it. I can’t explain it any further. It has to be experienced and all you have to do is ask God for it. Then, live each moment aware–available–you’re now ‘working’ for God but it just feels like life.