Three friends and I went to a conference. Our destination was The Cove, a beautiful retreat center built by Billy and Ruth Graham in the hills of North Carolina. We visited several interesting sites on the way to and from the conference.
Because the journey from Minnesota to North Carolina was too far to complete in one day, we made several overnight stops. A motel we stayed at on the trip home had a peculiar motif.
Everywhere throughout the motel complex, there were inoperative clocks – in the guest rooms, the pool area, the front lobby, the halls, and the breakfast room. Clocks were portrayed in graphic prints, etched in stone, and in tabletop ornaments, but the most obvious was a huge four-foot wide clock in the center of a coffee table covered with glass in the front lobby.
The most riveting feature of all the clocks was that in every one the hands had conspicuously stopped at five minutes until twelve.
So, what was the point? Had the motel owner been a former clockmaker? Was the interior decorator enthralled with clocks? Although silent, the clocks made a profound statement. Was that statement about real time, a spiritual concept, or something else?
Why had all the clocks stopped at five minutes until twelve? Did someone believe it was the “eleventh hour” – the time immediately prior to a big event?
In Goethe’s novel, Faust, the main character Faustus refuses to repent, even at the eleventh hour and then he slips into the abyss.
John, the revelator, says, “…for the time is near.” (Revelation 1:3). Might he be saying the next great epoch of God’s redemption is near?
Hosea tells Israel (and us), “…for it is time to seek the Lord, that He may come and rain righteousness upon you.” (Hosea 10:12) Do you see the promise in this verse?
Solomon writes extensively about seasons and times in Ecclesiastes 3. He says there is a time for everything, and yet, once time passes there is no returning.
Time is a precious commodity. It seeps away like water searching for the lowest level or sand in an hourglass of a soap opera. We mark time by the benchmarks of our lives such as births, deaths, graduations, weddings, anniversaries, important trips, job changes, and new homes. We look back and ask, “Where has all that time gone?”