Yesterday (March 14) was the beginning of “Daylight Saving Time” (DST) in most of the United States. Many of us sprang forward! Did you actually feel it? Probably not (particularly if you live in Arizona or Hawaii – two states that don’t shift to DST because, evidently, they have a sunshine surplus). That said, The Navajo Nation, which extends from Arizona to New Mexico and Utah, does observe DST, so that The Nation’s people are on the same schedule. This time change affects hundreds of millions of people in more than 70 countries with the objective to help people make better use of daylight. (Maybe what’s needed is better use of so-called time.) This idea of DST was introduced during WWI but didn’t become an annual observance in the US until 1966.
Although I understand the reasons for DST, in this regard, I’d prefer the AZ and HI model; partly because when DST begins and ends, sometimes it’s enough to simply adjust all the clocks and watches in one’s home, especially in the good old days! Imagine what larger organizations, such as Wide Horizon, have to do. Heck, clocks throughout Wide Horizon’s buildings vary even when they’re all set to approximately the same time! Yet, we consistently do a notably good job of maintaining daily schedules to provide Christian Science nursing care and food service no matter what the time.
As a related note, the Babylonians and Egyptians began to measure time around 5,000 years ago. The ancient Egyptians were using the sundial – a “sun-powered clock” – around 1500 BC. Greek and Roman cultures created water clocks, and calendars were created. Mechanical clocks were invented in Europe in the 13th century, and churches became the driving force for clock production. The more reliable pendulum clock developed in the mid-1600s. Then followed portable clocks and timepieces, pocket and wrist watches, and now computer watches and smartphones.
So, why mankind’s fascination with keeping time? How often do people exclaim, “I don’t have enough time” or “why is this taking so much time”? Do most people think about the erroneous influences of daytime and nighttime? In what ways does time seem to control behavior, schedules, work, and even play? And, how much time is lost due to TikTok?
Time is defined in multiple ways as either a noun or a verb, including: 1) a particular portion or part of duration, whether past, present, or future. (The Student’s Reference Dictionary); 2) the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole (Oxford English Dictionary); 3) plan, schedule, or arrange when something should happen or be done (OED); 4) to regulate, to measure (American Dictionary of the English Language).
Now a bit more about the concept of time. Albert Einstein once wrote in a letter to a colleague’s widow, “For we convinced physicists the distinction between past, present, and future is only illusion, however persistent.” And Brian Greene, professor of physics and mathematics at Columbia University, quotes Einstein as saying, “The passage of time is in the eye of the beholder.” Therefore, such physicists now speak of a “time sense,” noting that with what is known as “coincidence-ordinate,” we are left with only consciousness, and time disappears. (www.briangreene.org)
So, even though this blog has taken more time to write than planned, and as most, if not all, of the historical figures whom influenced time as given above were men, and March is National Women’s Month, again I’ll give another shout out to a remarkable woman who positively influenced her times.
Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer and founder of Christian Science, used the word “time” many times in her writings. In the “Glossary” of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, she gives this definition: “TIME. Mortal measurements; limits, in which are summed up all human acts, thoughts, beliefs, opinions, knowledge; matter; error; that which begins before, and continues after, what is termed death, until the mortal disappears and spiritual perfection appears” (p. 595). She also partly defines “DAY” as “the irradiance of Life; light, the spiritual idea of Truth and Love” (p. 584). These are different definitions than which most folks are familiar. If you’ve the time, think about it.
Mrs. Eddy also quotes Apostle Paul a number of times, including: “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (II Corinthians 6:2) Clearly, “now” is important! And, a close reading of The Bible accordingly will show time alone heals nothing. Therefore, time definitely does not heal all wounds! Love does, but not time.
In the “Preface” of Science and Health, Mrs. Eddy wrote, “To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, to-day is big with blessings.” She continued on the same page, “The time for thinkers has come. Truth, independent of doctrines and time-honored systems, knocks at the portal of humanity. Contentment with the past and the cold conventionality of materialism are crumbling away” (p. vii).
So, whether it’s DST or not, “Blessed is he that readeth, … for the time is at hand.” (Revelation 1:3)
D. Brian Boettiger