The Clock is Running

If the passage of time were up to the old clock, the future would look a little bleak.  Six days ago, I wound it. It ran only a few minutes and stopped.  For every one of the next five days, I worked on it, swinging the pendulum to start it again.  No luck.

Until yesterday.  With another tap on the gears and levers, I released the pendulum one more time.  I had no presumption that the old thing would run at all.  Perhaps, like the old clock in the song I quoted a few weeks ago, it had “…stopped short, never to run again.”

Nope.  Not the case.  The clock kept running–this time.

Do you know what makes a clock work?  In a nutshell, energy from the weights is released to the pendulum, which keeps the works moving at a regular speed.  Somehow, a speck of dirt must have gotten into the gears, keeping the energy from reaching the mechanism.  With only the energy of the pendulum to drive it, it soon slowed to a stop again and again.  On the last try, the dirt must have been knocked loose and the energy is now being directed to the appropriate spot.

The clock is still running.

Speaking of running, I am finding a similar thing in my own running–the kind where I move my feet and cover a few miles of pavement.  I have, in the last few weeks, begun to think more about the speed at which I am moving on my nightly jaunts.  I am setting goals, thinking that I might be able to meet some raised expectations if I reach those goals.

But, like the old clock, in order to reach those goals, the energy in my body has to be released to the mechanism, the muscles, in a timely manner to achieve the speed I think is necessary.  The energy is there.  The muscles have been developed over time.  Still, I slow down at the most inopportune moments, causing the speed to dip below my expectations.

A loss of focus short circuits my intent to keep up the speed, and my all-out run becomes a trot, or even a shuffle.  Regardless, I don’t meet my goals.

I am realizing that I have to keep my eyes (and mind) focused on the target.  When I do that, I make good time, setting new personal records on my course regularly.  Lose focus and I am disappointed, every time.

I wonder if the same principle holds true in this big race we call life.

I have a sneaking suspicion that it does.  And, I’m thinking that it would be a shame to have all the first-rate equipment–the best education, the fervent desire, and the loftiest intent–but lose the race because we can’t make the transfer of energy to the machinery at the right time.

I’m hoping to run in such a way that I can win this race.


“Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand.  The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.”
(Alexander Graham Bell~Scottish born American inventor~1847-1922)

“Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win!”
(I Corinthians 9:24~NLT)

© Paul Phillips. He’s Taken Leave. 2013. All Rights Reserved.

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