It was a wonderful gift given by some dear friends. They were downsizing and moving into the senior housing at the Baptist Village in Owasso, Oklahoma. Vernon Smith and his wife Esther helped organize our church in 1935. Vernon was a banker, a deacon, church treasurer and the first choir director. Esther’s funeral service in 1975 was the largest I had ever officiated. Later, Vernon married Ollie Shannon, whom he had rediscovered at their high school reunion. When Vernon and Ollie decided to move to the Village, they offered us their grandfather clock.
Grandfather clocks need to be moved gently. There is a pendulum, heavy weights and chains, and delicate moving parts all housed in a cabinet nearly seven feet tall. It fit perfectly in our front hall just down from the bedrooms. It chimed every fifteen minutes, longer and longer rings until it “bong, bong, bonged” the hour. It nearly drove me crazy. I knew when it was 2:15 or 4:45 a.m. in my so-called sleep. Overnight guests would comment on the clock. The Westminster Chime is the classic ring that it is set to. Also, there are options to set it to the Winchester or the Whittington Chimes. I tried them all—still less sleep. Then one day, I adjusted.
When I set it back to the Westminster Chime, I barely noticed 3 a.m. Before long I was sleeping through the night again. One day Vernon asked me how I was adjusting to the clock. He proceeded to tell me about the secret little hook that prevents it from chiming at all. By then it was too late. Twenty-five years have passed listening to the grandfather clock. It keeps perfect time. The sound of the chime has become so familiar I rarely hear it at all. I have adjusted to its rhythm and sound. I wonder sometimes if the chimes were turned off, would the quiet keep me awake? What keeps you awake at night? Maybe there is an “adjustment” waiting for you.
Keep healthy. Pray mightily. Enjoy your life today. Listen closely. And let’s experience the love and power of God together.