Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Time and Change

Where do I even start …

I’m kind of on top of the world at the moment. In awe of God and his handiwork. And listening to Chris Tomlin today.

I checked several items off my goals list in the last week. That would be my written goals list. Not my manager’s list. Not my CEO’s list. Not a corporation’s list. My list. Mine, mine, mine, all mine, hee hee.

I attend several events for my business throughout the year. One of my goals was to make it to at least one “optional” worship service on Sunday morning at a national event. The service is always fairly early, especially considering that the fun and networking goes on into the wee hours the night before. And depending on how far away from the venue we’re staying, there may be a walk or a cab ride involved.

So it’s really easy to blow off church at 7:30am before another long day when sleep is at a premium. And if no one is keeping you accountable.

What drove me to make this one a written goal was missing the service last fall in St. Louis. I was looking forward to it, truly planning on being there. It was time change weekend … time to turn the clocks back an hour. Officially that happens at 2am I guess. But often it takes a few hours for computers, tv’s, cell phones, etc. to update the time you see displayed in a lot of places. I used to work at a plant where it would take a couple weeks at least for everything to catch up. Talk about confusing.

In St. Louis we were back in our hotel room briefly that Saturday evening to change into Halloween costumes, and I noticed the maid had apparently updated the alarm clock. “Oh how nice,” I thought. So when we went to sleep in the wee hours, I set the alarm on my cell for early early … and not knowing whether the phone would update as expected while I was asleep … and not knowing how that would affect the alarm … I somehow had worked out that when the alarm went off, if the time on the phone and clock agreed then I should get up, but if they disagreed then I had one more hour to sleep. I don’t know, trust me, I’ve taken more math classes than any human should have to, and I aced the analytical section of the GRE. The statistical likelihood of me being right was high.

Except …

It was an atomic clock sitting on the nightstand.

Which means a satellite speaks to the clock at least once a day to keep it updated and aligned with government time standards and the planets and who knows what else.

So my roommate and I dragged our extremely tired selves out of bed and headed across the street. While we were getting ready, I had been messaging my frequent partner in crime / friend / prayer partner asking what time he was walking over to the worship service … followed by a “never mind, we’ll be there last minute, see you there”.

Um yeah, hopefully his phone was on vibrate because by the time we got there, the next breakout session was starting. We completely missed the worship service. Our phones were showing the correct time. The clock in the hotel room had also updated in the middle of the night and was now wrong.

Oy vey.

(Yes, this does bring up a whole discussion for fellow computer nerds on how updates from atomic-land are programmed, but we will leave that for another time.)

Later that morning I was sitting in the general session in the Edward Jones dome, where cell service is practically nil and getting enough of an internet signal to use messenger is worthy of notifying the Vatican. It was about 10:30 – no, really it was actually 10:30, lol. My phone vibrates and this simple message appears … “Your phone should update the time automatically.”

In a testament to how far I’ve come, I skipped the sarcasm and responded with grace and something to the effect of “you’ll laugh, it’s been an adventure”.

Fast forward to Los Angeles in March this year. I was on the volunteer staff for the event and the worship service conflicted with my duties.

Fast forward again to Orlando this past weekend. I didn’t have anyone else in my circle saying they were getting up early and making the twenty-ish minute walk in July-in-Florida-heat-and-humidity to the convention center. But I did it anyway. And it was good.

So, kids, what can we learn from all this?

Write your goals down, even if they seem small and stupid. It’ll spur you to actually do them.

You never know which of your teammates might show up a few seats away from you in church.

I will not hold it against any particular one of said teammates that they could have mentioned they were cabbing it to the convention center and therefore did not arrive damp and frizzy. J

God speaks through the most seemingly insignificant things. Over and over and over again.

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