Where have all the timers gone?

A perpetual problem in our house is finding a timer when needed. You’d look in the kitchen, maybe a drawer or magnetic spot such as the exhaust fan above the stove or on the refrigerator? No such logic. As I write this, I am spotting one beside this computer, and I know I have one beside the bed when I timed a pan of thigh-plumping cookies long ago (meaning the taste is long gone but my thighs retain the memory). Oh, and I have two in a kitchen drawer, but one is dead (new battery, anyone?) while the other doesn’t respond to button pushing, sort of a must for timers everywhere, I would imagine.

Timers are such a necessity in my home that I actually researched reviews on Amazon.com before purchasing two LOUD ones for my husband for Christmas. Yes, I am that romantic. (I also purchased him a cutting board and accompanying knives specifically for cheese, all of which remain in a Christmas gift bag beside our bedroom TV. I should have just given him new batteries for the remote.) I will say that it is usually my husband who complains about not being able to find a timer–despite the fact he rarely cooks. Once upon a time, he used them to time his e-bay bids to perfection.

In our house, a timer must have large numbers, be easy to set, beep loudly, and follow the human timer into whichever room he or she happens to be as the alarm time draws near (which is usually the problem). One of the gems I bought my husband for Christmas actually has a long string so it can be worn around my (I mean, his) neck. Convenient. But you have to wonder why I need a timer that travels through the house with me.

Really? Is it too much for me to stay aware of the passing of time or simply to stay put and focus?

As I rushed home tonight after a nearly twelve hours of school, meetings, and baseball practice, I thought to myself, “Where has all the time gone?” (Not quite the song-caliber title of “Where have all the flowers gone?”, but …) What do I have to show for this full day of busyness? A lecture to my 15-year-old about the need to do well in high school? A “wow, I don’t want ‘pearls before swine’ to be my motto for teaching” to my junior class for excess chatter during literature discussion and vocabulary work? That feeling of frustration when talking to a parent about how wonderful it is to have her third child with the “math gene” and how I note certain good work habits seem to run in families (but not mine?)? The frustration when coming home nearly four hours after other family members to find them waiting on me to serve dinner?

And so I take a moment to write, to breathe, to think (not necessarily in that order), partly because I need to, partly because I want to blog for me, not just my students, and to prove that I can be consistent despite the workload…

And then I remember “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10) for “in Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28), and I remember for whom I do all this. I reprimand and work and serve because it is the Lord God I am serving, not my children, not students, not men. It’s all for Him.

And then I get very still–at least inside (my fingers are still typing)–and I realize how very easy it is to get so caught up keeping track of time (or looking for timers) that I forget the Time Giver. He sets me where He wants me, speaks softly so I choose to listen, and is with me wherever I go. And as I still my heart, I know that I want all my living and moving and being to be in Him.

I think I missed it today–until now.

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