“Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16).
I mentioned in my last post that I’ve done very little decorating in our current home. I have, however, tried to carry over a few principles that I put into practice in our Little House on the Corner. Like the Master Bedroom Haven, conversation starters in the dining room, and my bucket of rocks (yeah, we’ll get to that one, hold on). And the fact that I didn’t hang clocks. Anywhere.
If you come visit me, you might notice that the only time pieces are the digital clocks on my kitchen appliances. Or you might not. You might just lose track of time and never realize it. YES, that is all part of my maniacal plan to lure you into my lair and keep you forever! Just kidding. Or am I?
If there is a clock in the room, I watch it. I noticed in our first apartment that I was constantly glancing up at the clock, feeling rushed along by that little hand that sternly pointed out how far behind I always was. I also noticed how frequently our guests glanced at the clock and seemed to feel that they were imposing if they stayed more than an hour.
When we moved into our house I decided to see what would happen if I just didn’t hang clocks. And you know what? I was so much less stressed! I moved through the days at a slower pace, but somehow ended up getting more done, in a more relaxed manner. Better yet, I noticed something delightful happening when we had guests over. They stuck around and enjoyed themselves until they were ready to go home! My husband led Bible studies in our living room that continued until they had reached a natural stopping point instead of being dictated by time. Visitors commented that time seemed to stand still when they came over and they were surprised at how long they had stayed. I like to think that’s partly because we’re kind of fun people to be around, but I largely attribute this to the fact that our guests didn’t feel the pressure of a ticking time bomb on the wall. They were able to relax and, for just a little while, forget about living life according to a clock.
If you can’t see yourself totally chunking all clocks, consider banning them from certain rooms. My main purpose for my living room is to provide a relaxed atmosphere where friends and family can comfortably gather and enjoy time with one another. So, at the very least, clocks are prohibited in that room. I don’t want people to feel on edge, or wonder if they’ve overstayed their welcome. When you’re in my living room, I want you to stay as long as you want, regardless of the time.
The most important mission this practice accomplishes is that it allows us more time to share the Gospel. When we have nonbelievers over, we are able to have in-depth conversations with them that focus on Christ without worry over how late it is getting. And they don’t have that quick out of, “Oh, look at the time, I really must be going!” They simply get immersed in the Word and forget to fret over how long they have stayed. That’s pretty awesome to watch.
There you have it. One of my secrets to decorating a comfortable home: Buh-bye, Clocks! (Except, everyone loves whimsical or antique clocks… Those can still add splendor to your home – just don’t set them to the correct time :) ).
Of course, we do keep an eye on the time. We glance at the oven clock to make sure we make it to services when we’re supposed to. And we do have alarms on our phones. But, in daily life, we take our time because we are no longer slaves to the time. And that’s something you can give your guests without putting any effort into it. Probably without them ever even knowing what it is exactly that makes your home so relaxing. One friend came over every week, sometimes multiple times a week, for months before looking around one day and observing, “Hey… You guys don’t have any clocks. I never took the time to notice that before.”