Reflection on “Seconds”

Written by Benjamin Smith, Perth, Western Australia

As I sit deep in thought,
In my family’s lounge room,
My attention is drawn to an old pendulum clock.
I spend time and thought reflecting on this clock,
Reflecting on time itself.
As the pendulum swings from side to side,
The chime goes tick, tock, tick, tock, tick.

As I sit listening to the ticking of the clock,
I realize the obvious fact that this noise represents the sound of seconds.
Not just any seconds,
But my seconds, seconds of my life,
Five… ten… fifteen seconds pass by.
Irretrievable seconds of my life.

But what are mere seconds to the young and healthy, who are full of life,
They slip by without notice, they slip by without care.
But there comes a time when those who were once young, become old,
Become those who lay still on their bed, waiting for their time to come to a close.
They now consider every second valuable, a borrowed gift from God.
What they would now give to retrieve all those seconds that slipped by without notice,
Without care,
Those five… ten… fifteen seconds.

But what can I do to stop the inevitable?
I consider moving myself over toward the old pendulum clock,
Opening the glass door and placing my hand upon the swinging pendulum
Causing it to be still, to be silent.
I could silence the clock, the haunting sound of irretrievable seconds of my life,
But this is a foolish thought, for this clock only represents time.
Stopping this clock could never stop time itself.
For there is a universal clock sounding off the seconds of our lives,
A clock beyond our reach.

Five… ten… fifteen seconds of our lives pass by,
Irretrievable seconds of our lives.
What can we do to stop the inevitable?

The only thing we can do is to consider this bittersweet truth:
Not only should we cherish each day, week, month and year,
But every second of our life,
Five… ten… fifteen…

Now, let me leave you with a hope, a hope I have found,
That time on earth is not the end…
Look for a cross, listen for a bell, the people there have a joyful story to tell.

“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” —Psalm 90:12 NIV

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