Time Warp

It was torturous but it was necessary.

The week before Christmas I found myself engaged in my least favorite activity of all things- waiting in a long, slow-moving check out line at a department store. I had to get those last minute items for the holidays and this was the only time and place to get what I needed. All of us in line (there were six lines to be exact) were trying to be patient – even cordial. But price check delays and discount-hunting patrons whose items were not scanning as marked made an already annoying wait insufferable.  A few customers tried to distract themselves in idle chatter with one another, some played with their smart phones, while others (like me) just stood, stared, shifted our weight, and looked incensed – hoping to give a signal that we were in a hurry. Maybe some were silently praying that they could get out of there with their sanity. I know I was.

Suddenly an older man whose arms were full of what looked like would-be Christmas gifts dropped one of his items – a Timex watch in a plastic case. When it hit the floor, the watch went one way and the case went the other. There were a few gasps among us and a couple of “helpfuls” who scrambled to retrieve and reunite the watch with its casing. But some of us, all in my general age range said, practically in unison, “It’s a Timex. It takes a licking and keeps on ticking”. 

imagesThe mood in the various check out lines seemed to lift – for suddenly we had a new connection – the recollection of the Timex ad slogan that ran on TV in the early 60’s.That is, most of us connected. A teenager and a 20-something mom looked at us as if we were daft. We didn’t care for we laughed and began to recite other slogans of the same time period. Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it isA little dab’ll do ya – Ring around the collar.

The check out line started to move faster. Or at least it seemed that way. We all began exchanging pleasantries and by the time I walked out the door with my purchases I had quickly connected with customers and employees that I would probably have otherwise dismissed – if I had noticed them at all.

It seemed ironic to me that time had been a connector –  kind of like an extension cord stringing Christmas lights together on a tree. A watch sent us mentally back in time which made the present time move fast and smooth.

I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again: Time is powerful and precious! It should not be dismissed, wasted, nor taken for granted.

Early American statesman William Penn said it this way: Time is what we want most, but what we use worst. How true!

As I move into a new year, I declare this to be my only resolution – that I will be aware of and value the time God has given me. And like the psalmist, my  prayer of dedication shall be this: My times are in your hands, Lord. (Psalm 31:15)


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