When the Watch Stops

Last week I joined my family for a bit of Spring Break vacation. There are a few essentials I pack for vacation: at least one pair of shorts; one Hawaiian shirt; one pair of Birkenstocks; and a stack of books. Really there is not much else one needs when taking a few days off.

I did have to drive back to Augusta for a funeral but returned later that afternoon. It was there that I “unpacked” my watch. That is, I took my watch off to ignore for the remainder of the week. I love my watch, but I have no need of it when there are no schedules to observe, meetings to attend or appointments to keep. Perhaps you remember my watch? It was the one I bought in New York City for $38, which of course is a deal because anywhere else it is valued at $38,000 (I was told by the street vendor that it is a genuine Patek Philippe and the guy looked sincere so surely it is the truth, right?).

My watch is self-winding and so when it is not worn it will eventually stop. I was amused when I glanced at my watch on the nightstand later that week and discovered it stopped keeping time a few days earlier. It reminded me these lines from a Jimmy Buffett song:

I bought a cheap watch from a crazy man
Floating down canal
It doesn’t use numbers or moving hands
It always just says “now”
Now you may be thinking that I was had
But this watch is never wrong
And if I have trouble the warranty said
Breathe In, Breathe Out, Move On

We all need those spaces and places where we are not ruled by our schedules or defined by our productivity. Is it any wonder that when God completed six days of work He declared a Sabbath for the seventh? I hope that in the course of your week you find the time to take your watch off, rest, and know that your value is not in what you do, but who you are – a child of God.

Peace be in you and near you,


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