Saturday, May 16, 2009

Click of the Clock

Tonight, my daughter Grace and I stopped by the shop on the way home to check on a dresser that I had refinished during the day. While we were there we took a moment and leaned over one of the work benches to observe an antique mantel clock that was being repaired. As we watched the round brass movements tick away, each little gear was turning with precision, and soon the clock began to chime as the hammer with a felt tip struck ten times on the wire that was attached to the sound board on the back of the clock case.

As I thought about the clock on the desk back at the shop, I could not help but think about being a U.S. Marine Embassy Guard in my early 20’s. When the Embassy was closed at the end of the work day I bolted the heavy steel doors shut, and I picked up the night watchman’s clock that was on a long black leather strap and made my rounds throughout the Embassy.

In all there were 26 places throughout the Embassy that had a key securely attached to a wall on a chain. When I got to each station I would pick up the key and stick it into the side of the clock and twist it. Inside the clock there was a roll of paper that recorded the station number and time that I was there.

As the Embassy guard, I was required to stay awake all night and make my way around the offices until morning once every hour. It was my job was to make sure that after hours the building was safe from fire or that no breach of security had occurred, and to look for security violations such as classified material being left out or to look for unlocked safes. If any violation or unusual item was found we had to write a report for the security officer the next day.
During the day he would open the clock and read the tape to check to see if you made all of your key stations during the night. As for me, I always did and in the process I reported the most violations on a weekly basis. Over a period of time I developed a real eye for finding violations.

I soon noticed that as the morning hours drew near, I always became weary and my eye lids would get heavier, but I knew that I had to stick it out until my relief would arrive. I learned the art of staying awake but once in a while I would take a five minute cat nap just to make it through the night. One night I even took a 5 minute snooze in the Ambassadors big black leather swivel chair but I heard a noise and it woke me up in time to complete my next set of rounds. For me the objective was to burn up the hours so I could go home at the Marine House and get some sleep or to do things during the day that I wanted to do.

It is true that just as much as we find ways to speed up the time because we have other priorities to accomplish, those moments that were waste are truly gone for ever. God has said in his word that there is a time for everything whether it be to work or play, plant or harvest, peace and war, etc. , He makes it clear that today is the day of salvation. This is a warning to each of us that there is no other day allotted, because no man knows the day or the hour that your soul will be required.

Wasting time is not an option when it comes to your soul. Many an individual has awoke in the morning only to find themselves standing with an unprepared heart before God before the end of the same day. Today, right now where you are is the time to seriously take Jesus Christ once and for all as your personal savior. Believe in him and know him today.

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