It's About Time

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Have you ever said, “Give me more time!” or “I don’t have enough time!” Sometimes we feel like time belongs to us. But here’s what the writer of Psalm 31 says: “I trust in you, Lord; I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in your hands.”

Every second, every minute, every hour, and every day of your life belongs to God. That’s a comforting truth. But it also makes you think, doesn’t it?

God gives every person on earth 24 hours to use each day. How will you use yours?

Take the Time Challenge

To find out how you use the time God gives you, track yourself for 24 hours! On a normal weekday, use this chart to write down how much time you spend on the following activities. Start from the time you wake up, and keep track of everything you do until you wake up the next morning.

_____ Sleeping
_____ Eating
_____ Watching TV
_____ Talking with a friend
_____ Playing online games or video games
_____ Learning at school or at home
_____ Doing homework
_____ Reading the Bible
_____ Helping someone
_____ Playing outside
_____ Riding in the car
_____ Talking to God
_____ Doing chores
_____ Reading a book
_____ Other: ________________

When you’re done, look at your results. What would you like to spend more time on? What could you spend less time on? How do you feel about the way you used your day?

Clocks That Don’t Tick

Through the centuries, people have used lots of interesting things to mark the passing of time. Here are just a few:

  • Sundial: Invented by the Egyptians, sundials create a shadow that points to the hour of the day. But they don’t work when it is dark or cloudy outside!
  • Water clock: In ancient Egypt and China, some people used water clocks. Water dripped through a small hole in one bowl into another bowl. By measuring the water, people could tell how much time had passed.
  • Candle clock: In ancient China and later in other countries, people marked candles or candleholders to tell time. They could tell what time it was by how far down the candle had burned.
  • Hourglass: In medieval times, people used hourglasses to tell time. When all the sand from the upper part of the hourglass had trickled into the lower part, an hour was up.

Make Your Own Sundial

For thousands of years, people have used sundials to tell time. Here’s how you can make one.

What you need:

  • a pencil
  • 13 small stones
  • a two-inch ball of modeling clay
  • a permanent black marker
  • a flat surface outdoors where where’s no shade

What you do:

  • Start on a sunny day a little before 8:00 a.m. Press the modeling clay onto the ground. Then push the pencil, eraser first, into the clay so it stands straight up.
  • At exactly 8:00 a.m., put a stone on the ground right at the end of the pencil shadow that’s farthest from the clay. Write the time on the stone with the permanent marker. Do this every hour until 8:00 p.m.
  • The next time you have a sunny day, see if you can tell what time it is by where the pencil’s shadow points!

Bigger Than Big Ben

The world’s biggest clock is on a brand-new tower in the city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Its face is 151 feet across—that’s longer than four school buses end to end! The tower the clock is on is now the world’s second-tallest building.

Just a Second

Do you know how far the moon travels in one minute? Or how much the world’s population increases in one hour? You’ll find out when you read this fun picture book by Steve Jenkins. If numbers are your thing (or even if they’re not) you’ll enjoy these fascinating facts. But before you read this book, test yourself! Match these numbers—4, 20, 100, and 200—to Steve Jenkins’s facts below:

In one second

a. a bumblebee’s wings can beat ____ times.
b. a woodpecker’s beak can hammer a tree ____ times.
c. a running cheetah can travel ____ feet.
d. somewhere in the world, ____ babies are born.

Think you know the answers? Check yourself at the bottom of this page.

Joke Time

Q. How do you make time fly?
A. Throw your alarm clock out the window.

Q. Why was the school cafeteria clock always late?
A. It went back four seconds.

Q. What time is it when an elephant sits on your car?
A. Time to get a new car!

Answers to "In one second":

a: 200
b: 20
c: 100
d: 4

View this article as it appeared in the print version.

About the Author

Sandy Swartzentruber serves as the resource coordinator for Faith Formation Ministries and is a member of Sherman Street CRC in Grand Rapids, Mich.

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