by Joey Davis
A borrowed clock sits on my nightstand. It's a General Electric AM/FM Clock Radio. It is made of the real imitation simulated plastic wood.
It is an extremely ragged looking timepiece after fifteen years of abuse. On it are scratches and paint drops from the survival of many redecoration projects. It became so dusty at one time, while it was being kept in my office, that some of the dust is etched into the plastic and cannot be removed. It has survived lightning storms, accidental falls, and six changes of address in the last fifteen years.
I borrowed it from someone who had received it as a graduation present. It came from a cousin whom he loved more than life itself. It was intended to give him years of service as a tool to help him be prompt and timely. He was only allowed to use it for thirty days. After that thirty day period, time became much less important to him.
He received the clock on June 10, 1979. He died on July 10, 1979 at eighteen years of age.
The other day, I was sitting on my bedside, just thinking, you know, and I looked at this clock and remembered from where it had come. It had belonged. to my brother. I took it from his room several weeks following his death. I say I borrowed it because it sounds nicer than stealing. I now awake every morning to the realization that it will never be returned...
...As the years pass, I realize that the time that the clock keeps is just as borrowed as the clock itself. The incrementation of the instances and moments that synchronize the activities of mankind should not be recognized in hours, minutes, and seconds; but as life lived. What we do with our borrowed time has eternal consequences. How we lead our homes and raise our children will have an effect on many generations to come; if they do come indeed. In the end, we must prepare an account of how we spent the timelender's investment.
Much like the imitation simulated plastic wood that encases my borrowed timepiece, the time it keeps is not as real as it appears. The clock's owner reminds me daily that tomorrow is only a definite possibility of a probable maybe. Eternity knows no hours, minutes, or seconds; and strangely enough, this is the only reason the Earth still spins. God will not be enslaved by mankind's clocks, for He acts in His own time; not ours...
Borrowed clocks and borrowed time...from deceased teenagers and artificial wood...to eternity. Ordinary reminders from an extraordinary God? I don't know. Maybe it's just a plain old worn out General Electric AM/FM Clock Radio.
October 9, 1994
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