The changing of the hour

This weekend we are turning the clock one hour back. The days are officially getting shorter, and slowly winter is approaching. But not yet, because autumn is still here in all his glory. I love autumn. The changing of the colors, leaves slowly falling down, candles are being lit again and somehow life becomes a little bit cozier. Or as we famously say in Dutch, ‘gezellig’.

This entire change reminded me of a poem that I wrote a year ago. It was autumn and the hour was going back in a couple of weeks and I felt as restless as I do today. I was impatient. Impatient to get started with my work for God. But God gave me a dream to let me know that I was still early. It wasn’t His time yet.

In fact I was so eager to start working, that I ignored God’s message and decided to get up early anyway, to start my days writing more than I did at the time. It was my plan to wake up at 7 am, whereas I usually woke up at 8 am or 8.30 am. Planning my days with chores and writing, I was set to begin my new regime. Ready to go, I set my alarm clock at 7 and went to sleep. It must have been November by that time. But when I woke up the next morning my alarm clock hadn’t sounded. I was 100% certain that I did set the alarm because I checked at least three times the night before! I didn’t wake up during the night either. That’s when I got a vision. I saw in my vision, that Jesus entered my room. He walk straight to my alarm clock and turned it off. After He turned it off, He gave me a kiss on my forehead and left. It wasn’t until a few months later that I realized, that not only did He turn off my alarm clock, His power also broke it down. My clock still functions perfectly, my alarm clock however just won’t budge. And my alarm clock stopped working after the morning that Jesus turned it off!

It was clear to me. I simply had to wait, no matter how difficult that was going to be. As all of this took place, I wrote a poem. The poem is about my deep love for the autumn season. But it is also about having to wait. We have to sit out the present season in our life, before the next season will begin. And sometimes that is really difficult. You are ready to move on, but the problems in your life simply won’t leave. You are ready to start a new career but nobody will take you on. You are ready to sell your house and start a new life elsewhere but your house doesn’t sell. Whatever it is, you are unable to move forward in your life. And that is difficult. It is as if you have to wait for the clock to change the hour. You stare at the pointers in the hope that they will go a little faster, if you just stare at it long enough. But slowly the minutes are ticking away. And frustrating is not helping you either! The clock isn’t changing the hour one minute faster if you get angry.

The only thing that really helps is taking your eyes off the clock. Focus on something else, temporarily. It is just like waiting in a waiting room at the doctor. What do you do until the doctor calls you in? You get a magazine and you read a little. Because time passes by much quicker if you focus on something other than the clock. In the same way, we have to switch our focus to something else in order to wait for God’s perfect timing. If we move to fast, things might go wrong and we can ruin God’s plan with us completely. Besides, God won’t budge anyway, and I can tell you that out of personal experience. If God wants you to wait, He will let you wait in whatever form or fashion, He sees fit.

Our impatience is a stumbling block in our way, but if we try to have patience, God might surprise us in a way, we could never have seen coming. Patience gives the opportunity to learn new lessons and see new things. If we would never have to wait, life would simply pass us by. We would never see the leaves changing color. We would never smell the sweet scent of cinnamon. We would never witness the beauty of a sunset. Patience is a life changer and an eye opener!

Here is the poem:

Early autumn

The chestnuts fall wherever they want.
Acorns lose their hats in the process.
The maple collects its juice for the next harvest.
A squirrel hides his food in the grand old oak.
Unshakable is the tree that bears her fruit.

The cinnamon apples spread their warm perfume.
Sweet is the scent that melts my heart.
The autumn sky embraces the strong cold winds,
but the fire in the hearth keeps me warm.

When the honey sweetens the hot liquid,
the words of my heart are kind.
Now the green leaves fall down,
and in the raked pile I make snow angels.
Joyful is the heart that reminds itself to be young.

In expectation of the winter I look at You,
but the clock hasn’t moved the hour yet.
Impatient is the heart that tries to hurry.
In time the feet will triple over themselves.
The lesson of patience is an impatient one.

At the kitchen table I drink my tea,
as You fill my head with happy memories.
And in the warmth of Your touch,
I learn to embrace the blessings,
of an early autumn.



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