For the past month, the battery has been dead on my watch. I have to say, I’m VERY picky about my watch. You’d think it would be very easy–I really don’t want anything fancy at all–it must have actual numbers on the face. Real, arabic numerals. None of this roman numeral crap. And no little hash marks. Even the minimalist, 12, 3, 6, 9 won’t cut it for me. I need every hour that is available to me. The watch must also be waterproof. I spend too much time with my hands under the sink to be constantly worrying about water (or worse–much, much worse) getting on my watch. My two other requirements are that there is the date on the face and that it can glow at night. I’m even willing to give up the glowing, but only because my eyes are getting so bad at night that I can’t read what time it is anyway.
So, on my great watch quest, I really only have three specific requirements. You’d think it would be easy, but, in fact, only one watch has met all my needs–a Timex. I’ve gone through three of the exact same style. I wear one constantly, even in the shower and pool, until it officially dies, and then I go and buy another one.
And last month, I’d actually suspected that the battery would be dying soon because I couldn’t get the Indiglo to work. I’d push the little button and it would flash on before fading. “I’ll be needing a new battery soon,” I told myself. And promptly forgot about it.
I probably look at my watch 20-40 times a day. I’m the freak, that if you see me looking at my watch and ask me what time it is, I’ll have to relook at my watch before I tell you. I’m obsessed with time. Maybe because I have three kids, or have too many things on my plate, or that I’m constantly 1o minutes late, but I’m always checking my watch. I’m convinced there is a black hole at my front door. I will look at the clock as I’m yelling at the kids and running out the door. We will ACTUALLY be EARLY to ______________ (insert church, school, karate, grocery store, friend’s house, etc.). We climb in the car, strap in the baby, turn on the engine and glance at my watch. It is now 15 minutes later than it was when we walked out the door and we are now late. I don’t know how it happens, but it does. Every day.
I don’t know when my watch actually stopped working, but it did. And I have a feeling it took me a while to notice. I realized this because, once I realized the watch was dead, I kept it on my wrist, but stopped looking at it. When I would leave it off my wrist (because, duh, it was broken) it drove me crazy. I kept looking at my wrist all day long. I missed having the weight of it against my wrist.
And something dawned on my–the watch that didn’t work, offered me more comfort that going without. When I didn’t have the watch on, it really bothered me. I was constantly looking at my wrist, constantly wondering what time it was, and constantly being distracted by it’s absence.
How often do we get used to things that don’t do us any good? How often do we continue to keep something in our lives that doesn’t work, but is comfortable and familiar? We keep relationships, jobs, habits and commitments that no longer offer us anything benefit, but we are so used to how they feel, we feel lost without them.
Once, when my son was younger and not as smart, he was sitting in the kitchen, banging his head into the wall. When I asked him why, he smiled and said, “because it feels good when I stop.” Of course, he also got his head stuck in cat door, but that is another story.
But my son is actually not so wrong. Very often, we do accept things in our life because stopping feels so good. Or, we are so used to whatever miserable thing, we don’t even think about stopping.
What is broken in your life that you are keeping, just because it is familiar. In this Easter season, consider starting fresh. If we aren’t saved, our lives are broken watches–something we tolerate because it are familiar–but it aren’t working. Jesus can give us time that never ends.