Always Ticking

July 7, 2019 by William Avery Pike, Jr. (Virginia, USA)

On October 4, 2018, management of my time became even more important. I was appointed to fill out a 14-month term on our local school board. In the back of my mind, I knew I was qualified, but in truth I did not expect to be selected. I thought someone younger would be chosen.

Even though I have retired from my work as a public educator, I still work full-time as the Director of Operations for our church. Plus, I have a wife, three grown children, three grandchildren, and an assortment of activities that I participate in that are church and community related. I’m busy, but it is good busy.

My wife helps me coordinate my calendar. School board activities are a real time stealer—meetings, attending special events, and community requests never stop. I knew this would be part of the territory.

I feel like I’m always in motion, always on the go. Somehow I’m surviving, and time is always ticking. 

I am often drawn to Pat Conroy’s commencement speech at The Citadel for the class of 2001. Mr. Conroy conveys to the graduates how “swift time is.” He describes the swiftness of time as “the only great surprise in life.” 

Mr. Conroy’s assessment is correct. 

I’m an earlier riser. Some mornings I go for a run or head to my local YMCA, or I might sit down at my computer and write. If I could free up extra minutes in a day, I would devote those extra minutes to writing. My soul is drawn to tinkering with words. 

Yet no matter how busy I am, one piece of my day has not been interrupted—I always take the time to read The Upper Room daily devotional. That is a habit learned from my parents. At the breakfast table, The Upper Room was an integral part of starting their day.     

When I read The Upper Room, I have a highlighter with me. As I read the devotional, I take the time to highlight a word, phrase, or scripture reference that resonates with me. I am always amazed when a writer has an observation or perspective that matches mine. I’m even more amazed when those writers are from a faraway part of the world.  

That person’s environment might be entirely different from mine. Yet, the author has written words and thoughts that have touched my heart. The miles between us at that point do not matter. 

Yes, time has a mind of its own. It keeps moving, it keeps ticking. Time doesn’t think about us. Time has its own schedule to keep. But no matter how busy our lives are, taking the time to slow down for a few minutes everyday and connect with the good Lord is worth every second.  

You, I, we—we all need that quiet time. And I might guess that in the chaos of this world, the good Lord needs quiet time with us as well.


Bill Pike has a blog that you can find here: https://mightbebaloney.blog/.


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The Upper Room magazine's mission is to provide a practical way to listen to scripture, connect with believers around the world, and spend time with God each day.

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