The Clock of Life

Breath on Paper small group is taking a break between semesters.  For the next few weeks we will take advantage of a little time off, we hope you enjoy revisiting our favorites.  We’ll be back June 12th.

The clock of life is wound but once,

And no man has the power
To tell just when the hands will stop
At late or early hour.

To lose one’s wealth is sad indeed,
To lose one’s health is more,
To lose one’s soul is such a loss
That no man can restore.

The present only is our own,
So live, love, toil with a will,
Place no faith in “Tomorrow,”
For the Clock may then be still.
Robert H. Smith

Anyone who has ever been to my house has seen them.  One entire wall of our den is covered with clocks. Ceiling to almost floor, clocks of all shapes & sizes. With a canvas photo of myself and my Boaz crossing a bridge.

This is also the room where I host my small groups. Every semester a few women will comment on ALL the clocks. My standard response is:

 ‘Time is important.”

The poem above has never been as real to us as it has been this past year. None are guaranteed tomorrow. We are not even guaranteed that if we get a tomorrow that it will be all rainbows and butterflies. The Bible tells us, ‘In this world, you will have troubles.’ John 16:33

None of us long for troubles. But they come anyway…for Christians and just plain people trying to be good. (There is a difference you know!)

All God’s chil’ens got problems!

Monday I went for my first PET scan following chemo and then back Wednesday for the results. “You are in complete remission!” What sweet words I had waited a year and a half to hear! It was confirmation that God had indeed healed me. And medicine provided it!

Before I even left the clinic I began texting family and friends the good news. Several asked, ‘How does it feel?’ Expecting to feel over-the-moon, but not knowing exactly how to explain it, my reply has been, ‘I’m so excited, but not sure yet how I feel.’ One friend imagined how I’d feel is somewhat like how The Children of Israel must have felt when they walked out of Egypt and captivity. They were out of Egypt, but they had to get Egypt out of them.

This has been a year and a half journey for me, through some pretty rough terrain. “Keep walking,” were the words God gave to me as I began this trip. My husband describes it now as ‘We are out of the tunnel and back in the sunshine.’ And indeed we can see the sunshine!

One of the big questions I’ve asked myself through this track is, what is really important? Had it all taken a different turn, what would I have taken with me and what would I have left behind?


You can never get time back.  You choose to invest it OR waste it.

Ok, I think we all would agree with that.

It’s clearly better to invest it. But how? On who?

So doesn’t the real question become, who is important? Our life is about relationships. Since the Garden, God put us with others. Choosing to invest in the people we are in relationship with…in light of the value of time, is what lasts.  It’s what’s important…being a faithful: friend, sister, daughter, mother.  (all the titles that women are.)

Galatians five tells us that faithfulness is one of the attributes that followers of Christ should see in their life… a gauge of our true relationships?  But shouldn’t we also be faithful to Christ? …at the end of the day…when my clock stops.

The conclusion of the above verse is:  “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”  You see, He is faithful! 

live, love and toil with a will (or purpose)   What if the clock stopped?   What if we don’t get another tomorrow?  Did we invest wisely?    Will those who remember us remember us well?    Will we be remembered as faithful? 

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Cindy Willingham is a landscape designer, small group leader, avid encourager, and sinner saved by grace who is eight years new to Birmingham, Alabama.  Her sweet husband of 37 years, two married children and four grand-kiddos fill her life with unbelievable fun and sweet snuggles. She thinks God is awesome and that the best adventure starts with saying yes to that still, small voice. ~ To read Cindy’s BoP Bio click here.

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