The New Season Inside Our Own Skin

By Ken Woodley

Daylight Saving Time.
What a luminous trio of words.
And how simple it all was last weekend. Child’s play. We simply moved our clocks ahead. Sixty minutes. That’s all it took. And our digital devices performed that small task automatically, requiring no effort on our part at all.
Not even COVID-19 could stop the charge of this “light brigade.”
But what about our hearts and minds? What of our souls?
If we don’t move them further ahead into the light of God’s love then an hour of extra sunshine every day isn’t really going to change the world very much.
I imagine that when Jesus welcomed those who were regarded by society as sinners or unworthy—“the others”—they felt the return of an altogether different Daylight Saving Time.
Such people were kept in a kind of perpetual winter by the Pharisees and scribes of the world, kept in the utter darkness of disregard and the bitter cold of callous condemnation.
His companionship must have felt like acceptance and love suddenly blooming in the world around them, despite the marble hearts of others that seemed to be perpetually set to “Standard Time.”
Jesus wanted them to live their lives in the year-round Daylight Saving Time of God’s love and grace.
Standard Time is all too human. Standard Time is holding on to hurts and pain, to sins and grievances despite the fact that a turn of our heart would put us perpetually in a place far removed from the sleeting snowstorm of hurts and faults held onto. Including our own.
We can most truly come to life in God’s Daylight Saving Time.
Human Standard Time is just not worth synchronizing the clock of our lives to or the beat of our heart.
We all have a choice and this time of year emphasizes it in a dramatic and compelling way.
We can come to life.
Become a new creation.
Blossom and bloom.
Or hold onto darkness and winter within our hearts and minds, down in our soul.
Outside our windows and walls the ground is almost trembling with nature’s answer to the call of Daylight Saving Time.
A wondrous rash of flowers, of bird song, and sunlight, green leaves and lawns are on their way. Daffodils are already opening their petals. Forsythia buds are bursting.
The earth is going to keep tilting toward the light. Nothing can stop it.
We know our clocks are all set and synchronized with the path of the sun.
But what about all the deepest places in our often-wounded hearts?
None of us invented our skin or the chaotically challenging world through which we journey inside that skin. All we can ask of ourselves, and ask of others, is that we try to live in the world and inside our own skin the very best that we can.
Experience has taught me that from time to time it’s desperately important to forgive others, and also ourselves, for being human.
We are all human in every meaning of that word but if we are good enough for Jesus and for God, who created us, then we must be good enough for ourselves and each other.
We cannot be more than what we are, but what we are can be more than enough.
As difficult as it is to believe sometimes, all of us are the light of the world.
Jesus said so.
Let’s make absolutely certain, then, that we have sprung ahead not simply on our clocks but within our heart and mind, within our soul, as well.
Let’s strive to shine that light as indiscriminately and as brightly as we can.
The season is certainly changing all around us, re-shaping the landscape.
But a far more important season is waiting to change deep inside our own skin.
And it can transform the world.

By Ken Woodley

Daylight Saving Time.
What a luminous trio of words.
And how simple it all was last weekend. Child’s play. We simply moved our clocks ahead. Sixty minutes. That’s all it took. And our digital devices performed that small task automatically, requiring no effort on our part at all.
Not even COVID-19 could stop the charge of this “light brigade.”
But what about our hearts and minds? What of our souls?
If we don’t move them further ahead into the light of God’s love then an hour of extra sunshine every day isn’t really going to change the world very much.
I imagine that when Jesus welcomed those who were regarded by society as sinners or unworthy—“the others”—they felt the return of an altogether different Daylight Saving Time.
Such people were kept in a kind of perpetual winter by the Pharisees and scribes of the world, kept in the utter darkness of disregard and the bitter cold of callous condemnation.
His companionship must have felt like acceptance and love suddenly blooming in the world around them, despite the marble hearts of others that seemed to be perpetually set to “Standard Time.”
Jesus wanted them to live their lives in the year-round Daylight Saving Time of God’s love and grace.
Standard Time is all too human. Standard Time is holding on to hurts and pain, to sins and grievances despite the fact that a turn of our heart would put us perpetually in a place far removed from the sleeting snowstorm of hurts and faults held onto. Including our own.
We can most truly come to life in God’s Daylight Saving Time.
Human Standard Time is just not worth synchronizing the clock of our lives to or the beat of our heart.
We all have a choice and this time of year emphasizes it in a dramatic and compelling way.
We can come to life.
Become a new creation.
Blossom and bloom.
Or hold onto darkness and winter within our hearts and minds, down in our soul.
Outside our windows and walls the ground is almost trembling with nature’s answer to the call of Daylight Saving Time.
A wondrous rash of flowers, of bird song, and sunlight, green leaves and lawns are on their way. Daffodils are already opening their petals. Forsythia buds are bursting.
The earth is going to keep tilting toward the light. Nothing can stop it.
We know our clocks are all set and synchronized with the path of the sun.
But what about all the deepest places in our often-wounded hearts?
None of us invented our skin or the chaotically challenging world through which we journey inside that skin. All we can ask of ourselves, and ask of others, is that we try to live in the world and inside our own skin the very best that we can.
Experience has taught me that from time to time it’s desperately important to forgive others, and also ourselves, for being human.
We are all human in every meaning of that word but if we are good enough for Jesus and for God, who created us, then we must be good enough for ourselves and each other.
We cannot be more than what we are, but what we are can be more than enough.
As difficult as it is to believe sometimes, all of us are the light of the world.
Jesus said so.
Let’s make absolutely certain, then, that we have sprung ahead not simply on our clocks but within our heart and mind, within our soul, as well.
Let’s strive to shine that light as indiscriminately and as brightly as we can.
The season is certainly changing all around us, re-shaping the landscape.
But a far more important season is waiting to change deep inside our own skin.
And it can transform the world.

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