How often do you look at the clock? If you’re like me, you look often, and most likely, you look at a digital clock. After more than thirty years of teaching, I am still distressed when I find a youngster (or older!) who cannot read an analog clock. What happened to the big hand, the little hand, and the second hand? It’s not all that hard. I found myself some time ago starting to feel the same indignation toward digital timepieces that I felt toward Velcro. (I mean, come on! Are we too dumbed down to learn to tie our shoes?) I’ve chilled with both concepts now. And believe it or not, the digital clock is now one of my best friends! Let me explain.
Numbers and I have not always had a great relationship. There are certain places I actually fear seeing numbers. (I suppose math tests and bathroom scales would rank at the top of that list.) But now I have found some great uses for numbers, as well. And I’ve put numbers on the clock to use in my spiritual life, specifically in the areas of Bible memory and prayer.
I actually started using the digital time on the microwave when our children were young, as an incentive to their memorization of Scripture. Whenever a time on the clock could be matched to a Bible verse, the children received a nickel for their banks if they could correctly quote the verse. For example, if the time read 3:16, and the child could correctly quote John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life,” then he received a nickel. Pretty simple! Eventually the game became forgotten, especially as nickels lost their importance. But I hope that there are times, literal times, to this day and beyond, that my now-grown children pass by a digital clock, note the time, and have Scripture pass through their minds. But, you know what? I never stopped playing that game! I still use the digital clocks in my small world to motivate my Scripture memory! There are so many precious promises and principles in God’s Word that can be matched up to times on the clock! Consider Philippians 4:19. “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Or how about Matthew 5:18, “Let your light so shine before men, that they see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven.” And one more to prime the spiritual pump, Luke 1:37. “For with God, nothing shall be impossible.” What a delight it is to me to have these verses come to mind, sometimes literally flashing before my eyes as a reminder of Scriptural truths. Granted there are not enough numbers on the clock, not enough hours in the day, to contain all the great verses, but it’s a start! I suppose some day I should switch my clocks to military time!
I also use digital time read-outs to encourage me in my prayer life. My prayer life is always in need of improvement! I have wondered if there’s such a thing as spiritual ADHD! I am so easily distracted, especially in my prayer life. I know the devil hates the prayers of Christians. But time marches on. I mean, literal TIME. And the devil can’t stop that, so I’ve used time as a prayer reminder. There are certain times of day that have become special reminders to me of specific prayer requests. For example, when I see a clock that reads 9:11, I use that minute to offer a prayer for those that I know are facing severe illness. It just seems to fit. When I see the time 7:11, I remember businesses, specifically Christian businesses and ministries, in prayer. Those would be churches, Christian schools and universities, Christian business men and women, and other Christian organizations. One of the most special times is when the read-out contains all ones, 1:11 and 11:11. That is the time I remember in prayer those people who are number one in my life: my family! I pray for my husband, my children and their spouses, my grandchildren, my parents, and my siblings and their families, as The Lord brings them to mind. I was so thrilled to find out recently that after hearing what I did at that time, my parents started praying for me and other family members at that time as well. It’s a huge blessing to realize we might be praying for one another at the same time! At 1:23, I like to pray for students. At 1:43, I pray specifically for my husband. (That’s our special code for “I love you!”) ☺️ Any time the numbers are in sequence, it just tickles me and I try to stop and just praise The Lord.
Yes, I lead a simplistic life. I need those visual reminders around me to fulfill the command of Scripture found in Psalm 90:12, “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” What can I say? It works for me! What works for you? I’d love to hear your ideas!