In many parts of the United States we were inundated with reminders about moving to Daylight Savings Time this past weekend. Doubtless there were more than a few who still forgot and started Sunday at the wrong time for whatever they had planned.
Even though not every state utilizes this switch to accommodate more daylight hours each evening, most do not recall the reason for this event unless they are tuning into the debate on why it was setup originally.
The idea of resetting clocks forward an hour in the spring and back an hour in the fall was first suggested by Benjamin Franklin in an essay published in 1784. The essay was entitled “An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light.”
Benjamin Franklin was always coming up with ingenious ideas, but this one didn’t really get any takers until the World War I era. Then in 1916 the British Parliament adopted the plan and the United States made it official in 1918 despite some resistance. By 1919 the United States had heard the outcry against it and allowed local governments to choose if they would utilize the plan or not. Then in World War II in the United States it was reinstituted again until after the war.
Then in 1966 a Uniform Time Act was made law by the U.S. Congress, but this still allowed for leeway for local or state governments to choose to participate or not. It did set that those who chose to do so would do so uniformly on the same days each spring and fall.
Reminders are vital for all of us to jog our memories no matter what age or season of life. Information and data come at us at an amazing speed and few of us can hold onto a great deal of it.
Perhaps that is why many of us now rely on our phones or other devices to set alarms and keep our calendars up-to-date. If we avail ourselves of those reminders, we will get kudos from those in our world as we remember appointments, birthdays, anniversaries, and other data.
Even with the modern age of information overload, I can see that reminders were needed from the very beginning of recorded time. Even though each neuron in our brains fire about 200 times per second that doesn’t mean it can retain all that it is processing. Hence, the need for reminders.
God knows us well. There is a great deal of evidence to support that statement. One obvious place to find it is in the Bible. Themes and things that He wants us to know and understand, to learn and practice, are repeated in multiple ways and contexts. It’s pretty sad that too frequently we still do not keep those truths and tenets of our faith in our memories unless reminded.
Reading through the Torah (first five books of the Old Testament) one could wonder why after we plod through Leviticus and Numbers we see Moses repeating the commandments and laws again in the book of Deuteronomy.
There are plenty of times we see the children of Israel were forgetting God’s goodness and directives. (Of course that started in Eden with Adam and Eve as well.) Obviously, Moses knew well the challenge of his people, but the repetition now has additional importance attached.
By this time the generation that failed to believe in God’s promises had died off and Moses was reminding the new generation that was about to go into the Promised Land under Joshua’s leadership what would be key to the covenant with the Lord and success for the battles ahead.
We can get bogged down in the laws created to keep the covenant and miss that grace came first before the law.
What about us?
Do we take for granted that the generations behind us know our stories and know His story? The dailyness of our lives means that much of our conversation and communication focuses on details rather than what has guided our course through life.
Deuteronomy 13:4 reads:
“You are to follow only God, your God, hold him in deep reverence, keep his commandments, listen obediently to what he says, serve him—hold on to him for dear life!” (The Message)
Does the generation after you know why you ascribe to this if you do?
Reminders about these values still are needed.
Those coming after us need to know what has sustained us during the hard times, the failures, the doubting times in our lives. That can build their own faith and nudge them when they are tempted to believe no one has faced anything as difficult as they face.
Reminders to remember…we will always need them.