Wednesday, March 9, 2016

My take on . . . Daylight Saving Time, Clocks, and "Nearing Home," a book by Billy Graham.

My brain is working overtime! Lately it has decided to become alert at midnight and read for at least an hour. Why, I do not know. The other strange annoyance my mind seems to have is a focus on clocks. I’d be concerned, but I think I know what is to blame . . .

First to blame is “Boom, Chicka, Rock,” a kids book I read recently involving a clock, 12 mice and a cat. Included too are a few silly-sounding words. Now this phrase, “Tickety, tockety” is on constant replay.

Second to blame is Daylight Saving Time, taking place this weekend. I welcome the return of extended sunshine into the evening hours, but could do without the jet-lag symptoms it triggers as my body adjusts to the altered time. It baffles me why we continue with this practice of changing our clocks each fall and spring. It’s my understanding the intent of this mandate back in the early 1900’s was to conserve on the use of candles (Electricity was not common in homes until 1930’s.) and make better use of daylight. May have made sense then, but now?

Third to blame is my own personal “body clock.” It is relentless in reminding me I have entered the final decades of my life. Where once endless energy was mine, now it is limited. Where once I tackled multiple projects every day, now they are spread out over weeks, or not done at all. Where once I regularly and meticulously washed my car, now it gets done occasionally. The clock is assuredly winding down. 

I admit it is tough to accept and embrace getting older and to relinquish enjoyable tasks, like gardening, as well as those which are mundane. Makes me think of a remark my Mom made after Parkinson’s stole her ability to walk normally: “Oh, how I wish I could still clean my house.” I now understand the deeper message of her words which is why I try to be grateful for even the smallest of tasks I can still do . . . even dusting.

For some, the decline of one's health or loss of something or someone, triggers anger or a negative attitude, etc., but there are alternatives. One option is to change your focus. Rather than dwell on what is being removed from your life, consider a new interest. For example, when I could no longer lift books and had to stop overseeing the Kids Library I heeded Dr. Seuss’ advice: “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened!” Coming upon his words enabled me to focus on being thankful to God for the 14 years I got to serve in that capacity and look forward to a new assignment. In time it emerged: start a blog to share my knowledge of books and pass along stories which can help others. Ta Da! New focus. New outlook.

Now that books have been brought up, let me tell you about “Nearing Home,” by Billy Graham. It came into my life as I contended with a painful eye problem which caused me to seek advice about how to live with chronic health issues. Aware Dr. Graham had Parkinson’s disease and in his 90’s, I was certain I’d find wisdom in his words. He helped on a number of fronts, plus reinforced the importance of a biblical perspective on aging. What caught me by surprise was his willingness to be so vulnerable and honest about his own issues. The book exceeded my expectations.

Unlike his other titles, this one is much more personal, especially when writing about missing Ruth, his wife of 63 years. It’s also filled with practical and biblical advice for anyone desiring to gain insight on how to finish well.

The easy read has only 10 chapters, my favorite being “Then and Now,” a principle about transition with grace that Ruth coined and lived by, and one which today guides Billy. To give you a taste of the book’s content here are two excerpts from the final chapter I keep mulling over:

We never know at what stage, or age, we are living the last chapter of life.”

While I will never grow accustomed to life without Ruth, she would be the first to scold me if I didn’t look for God’s plan in the ‘here and now.’ This was her realm. It would be easy to sit and reminisce about all that was accomplished during the years of public ministry. I am grateful, for I know that ‘such mighty works are performed by His hands’ (Mark 6:2 NKJV). But I also know that God has a purpose in everything, and He will guide us into whatever He has for us if our hearts, mind, and eyes are watching and waiting attentively.”

After completing Billy’s book I found two other titles addressing the same subject. Both merit mentioning:

“Finishing Well to the Glory of God: Strategies from a Christian Physician” by John Dunlop, M.D., copyright 2011, 224 pages. Fascinated by what I have read so far. His medical knowledge and perspective definitely set this title apart from others. 

“Finishing Our Course with Joy: Guidance from God for Engaging with Aging” by J. I, Packer, copyright 2014, 112 pages. Short book packed full of wise counsel by a well-known author and theologian. Don't let the dark, somber cover keep you from considering what really is an uplifting book.  

While it may appear these titles are geared for those advanced in age, a younger audience could benefit from them. Similar to long-range retirement planning, which needs to start when young, these men’s works could prove invaluable if read years prior to turning 65.

Other clock stories have surfaced as I've written this piece (Yes, my mind is still working overtime!) and this one is the perfect way to end this post. Some sixteen years ago when I bought my little bungalow, badly in need of refurbishing, a few loving friends showed up to clean, paint and transform the place. Before leaving that day one of them handed me a house-warming gift. Inside was a clock! It still is part of my décor and a sweet reminder of the kindness of friends. 

Until next time!


P.S. Garfield insisted I remind you to set your clocks back this weekend! 


  1. I loved this post, Julie! Just loved it! Totally agree with you about daylight savings time, totally outmoded concept that no one can seem to get rid of. We shall dutifully set our clocks and go on with our lives. Thanks, Garfield. We, too, are dealing with the fact that we can't seem to do all we used to do but are grateful we can do what we do. Thanks for the reminder about Billy Graham's book. Happy memories of all your library years.

  2. "Hey, I have a pulse. I'm good to go!" Love that quote which describes my life some days. But even with my declining health I love these days more than previous decades for this one reason: my love for God is deeper and still growing. Pretty sure you will be inspired by Graham's book. Let me know what you think of it if/when you crack it open.


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