I don’t really care for Daylight Saving Time.
It’s not for the reason that you think. While I certainly would prefer not to lose an hour of sleep on a Sunday morning (Sunday is kind of a big day in my line of work), I am willing to forgo an hour of sleep for the sake of those extra hours of daylight during the summer. It is also not related to the fact that people always seem to see the time change as an opportunity to complain (as in this blog post), because I’ve gotten pretty used to the notion that people don’t really need an excuse to complain in our society.
No, the reason that I do not care for Daylight Saving Time is that it forces me into the uncertain and uneasy territory of trust. You see, I have an atomic alarm clock, one that doesn’t have to be set, but automatically gets the time from some unknown location (probably satellites; it’s usually satellites). This is very handy when the power goes out; I never have to go through the awkward process of trying (and invariably failing) to synchronize the times on two devices. This automatic feature, however, is downright terrifying on the night when I have to “spring forward.” As I crawl into bed, I stare at the blue numbers, powerless to do anything to ensure I will wake up in time for church. Generally, I wake up several times during the night in a cold sweat, worried that I have already slept through the first service. Invariably, of course, the alarm goes off without a hitch and I wake up at precisely the right time. In spite of my lack of trust, my alarm clock does exactly what it is supposed to do.
In many ways, my struggle with my alarm clock is a good metaphor for the Christian life. Scripture is full of stories about trusting in the midst of uncertainty. Abraham trusts God even though he doesn’t know where he is being called to go, Paul trusts God even though it means changing his entire vocation, and John the Evangelist tells us that we are called to trust in what God has done through Jesus Christ in order to have eternal life. Lent is an opportunity for us to practice this trust. We are invited to trust that God is with us even as we engage in sacrificial practices of fasting and almsgiving. I pray that you will use the season of Lent to try trusting God even in the midst of uncertainty.