I put on my old watch today. My normal routine is to wake up, drink a cup of coffee, or three, and then when I can’t put it off any longer, take my digital watch off its charger and start the day. That moment says a lot of things. It tracks my steps, my heart rate on the treadmill, and makes sure I never miss anything. I don’t miss texts from my husband, can access email if necessary. I can completely stay connected all the time, everywhere.
Except as I decided to put on my old TAG watch this morning, I realized I’ve missed everything.
The time was right, which was a personal achievement that I had at least worn it since the last time change. But the date was wrong because it is part of an archaic system of winding the hands of the clock to set it correctly. These watches take effort to stay connected. It said it was the 12th of something and definitely not from this month. Here it was the 22nd which meant I had not lost ten days but more like months and ten days. As I wound the hands of this time piece, I thought of everything that had likely happened during those endless hours. Winding a clock like that you really get a sense of how much time really does fly by. My digital watch never makes me do that.
While I had been busy staring at emails and deadlines, somewhere in there were football games for my boys, and deep meaningful conversations with a person across the table from me, a new niece born into this world. My digital timepiece offered false connection and anxiety and sold it as convenience. How many conversations had I been distracted by the “tap tap” of my watch, saying something or someone was more important than who I was in front of?
No doubt the engineers of my digital watch worked for years to make a lightweight version that I would hopefully not even notice, except for every second CNN buzzes my wrist to let me know that people are drinking more water than ever considering infused water with mint on the trend.
No, this watch is heavier. Made from metal with a mother of pearl face. Engraved with a love note from my husband on our first Christmas together. It is weighty. Like the time I have left with my boys, enjoying an active lifestyle, and moments to get it right in my marriage.
So much more is weighing me down than ever before. But the right kind of weight. The heaviness on your heart that feels right, sober, even lucid. Seeing the world for what it is- a big mess of sin, neediness, and problems that will likely only go away once we step into the glorious light of heaven where it all vanishes in the radiance of a God that never fails. And that my part in all of it isn’t to save it, but to enjoy the process of discovering God’s goodness right in front of me. My children discovering courage on the field, my marriage practicing grace again and again, maybe even a walk in the woods without thinking about my heart rate for once.
As I wind my watch to sync it with today, I’m so grateful for the shared history it represents. I’m so grateful for more “time” to be better, to get it “right” whatever that means. To embrace my today and be a little bit more present with what matters. I think today I’ll go against what the world says and put on the watch that represents my story. An intentional decision to be who I know I am instead of who the wold says I “could” be, “should” be. No, today, I think I’ll take the time to connect differently.