From ‘My Hope is Built on Nothing Less’ by Edward Mote:
“on Christ the solid rock I stand/ all other ground is sinking sand / all other ground is sinking sand”
How often do you feel that you are stuck in sinking sand and that time is working against you? No matter how hard you try, you just cannot go fast enough to beat it. Despite all efforts, you cannot achieve enough to make it out. Some days feel like you are drowning in the sands of time, barely able to catch a breath, seeming as though you are standing atop an hourglass with the sands steadily slipping away from underneath you as you sink further and further down.
Like flood waters creeping up, this fast-paced world can very quickly sweep us away. It tells us daily that we are running behind and have unmet deadlines. Everyone’s deluge may look different, but the residual feelings are the same: empty and discouraged souls, exhausted from efforts to reach an ever-rising level of achievement.
Modern conformity comes only at the price of your sanity and your soul.
Think of an hourglass. The sands of time are slowly trickling down to the bottom chamber. Once the hour has passed, our time is up. This very time device is what the wicked witch used to scare Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. Some 80 years later, the world uses the same trick as Hollywood did in 1937 to scare us today!
We feel this insatiable pressure from many directions, yet we cannot identify the source.
None of these worldly timeclocks were set by us or with our consent, but they are the gauge on which we are measured. This is the standard by which our success is measured, our value is measured, and if we are not careful, our self-worth is measured.
Who set these socially accepted standards for measure? God? Oh no, the world did. The world, comprised of flesh and human minds, moral and unmoral, ethical and unethical, godly and ungodly, set these standards.
How many times as women do we hear:?
- You better hurry up and get married before you get too old!
- You better hurry up and have babies. Your time clock is ticking!
- You haven’t even made partner yet. What are you waiting for?
So why do we even acknowledge these worldly standards? They are nearly impossible to ignore. They are everywhere: social media, TV, magazines, billboards, radio, etc. The worldly standards have even crept into our churches and into our homes.
“And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.” – 2 Corinthians 11:14-15, ESV
What if these standards are means to distract us from God’s direction in our lives? Just little lies, small voices telling us we are not enough, have not done enough, do not have enough. When does it end? We get close to the next level of enough-ness, and to our dismay, the standard of achievement has been raised. We may not can stop these worldly lies from spreading into public places, but we can control what enters our homes and our minds.
“Depart from me, all you workers of evil, for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping… He [God] only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken… Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.” – Psalm 6:8, 62:2,8, ESV
4 thoughts on “Standing on an hourglass”
So moving. I love the hourglass… where did you get that example?
Thank you! I have felt the social pressures of “running out of time” and the accompanying drowning sensation. The lyrics to the hymn brought the image all together for me. God took it from there.