COLUMN: It is time to change
Published 7:30 am Sunday, November 5, 2023
“Spring forward, Fall back.” This phrase reminds us how to set our clocks for Daylight Saving Time (DST). The first Sunday of November we roll them back one hour and the first Sunday of March, we roll our clocks ahead one hour.
It’s actually called Daylight Saving Time, not Daylight Savings Time, because we are saving daylight (singular, not plural). Congress enacted this legislation in 1966, amending it in 2007 to the present schedule. According to History.com, Hawaii and Arizona are the only two states that do not observe DST – with the exception of Arizona’s Navajo Nation.
Worldwide, approximately 70 countries utilize Daylight Saving Time. Japan is the only industrialized country that has never introduced it. (Go to www.timeanddate.com/time to find out which countries around the world change their clocks.)
Last year a poll, taken by Economist/YouGov, found that 63 percent of U.S. adults want to eliminate the changing of our clocks. Some 20 states have passed bills to permanently adopt Daylight Saving Time so that once clocks spring forward in March 2024, clocks would not fall back that November. But states do not have that authority because DST is mandated by federal law.
Benjamin Franklin, known for his sayings such as “early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise,” was the first to think of the idea in 1784. England and Germany were among the first countries to change the time during World War I and World War II. The U.S. also observed Daylight Saving Time to conserve energy for the war effort.
Thomas Edison once said, “Time is not a commodity that can be stored for future use. It must be invested hour by hour, or else it’s gone forever.” Of course, time doesn’t change; the way we keep time does.
But did you know the Bible records two events when time did change? When King Hezekiah was near death, he prayed and God added 15 years to his life. Read Isaiah 38. As a sign of his healing, God told Hezekiah the shadow on the sundial would go backward 10 degrees. Some scholars think this moving of the dial could’ve been as much as half an hour added to the day.
Joshua 10:7-14 tells about the time when the Amorites came to do battle against Israel. So their leader, Joshua, prayed and the sun stood still until Israel’s enemy was defeated. The sun did not go down about a whole day. “And there was no day like that before or after it” (verse 14).
The Bible also says that one day, time shall be no more. We will each stand before God and give an answer for the way we spent our lifetimes. On that day, our time will be up and there will be no changing our eternal destination.
Benjamin Franklin warned, “Do not squander time, for it is the stuff of which life is made.” Let’s use our time wisely. As Jesus said, “Let us do the work God has called us to do while it is day” (John 9:7).
— Jan White has compiled a collection of her columns in her book, “Everyday Faith for Daily Life.”