Saving Time


Steve Nauman

This past weekend was the annual return to Daylight Savings Time. As usual, I heard some who were talking about how they were “going to be messed up for days because of losing that hour of sleep”.

Some here in northern Indiana always talk about wishing we could go back to never moving our clocks “like we used to” (when we stayed on Eastern Standard year round!) Personally, I like the extra hour of daylight at the end of the day and I would be okay with leaving the clocks there all year! But…..I’ve never thought of it as saving any time.

Not too long ago while driving, as I approached the intersection of a busy four lane road in our town, the cross traffic stopped and my signal turned green. I proceeded right, and very soon the six vehicles that had stopped for the light were now right behind me. I was going a mile or two over the speed limit, but within a quarter mile all six vehicles passed me! My first thought was: “they must be saving time”. Then in just another half mile, I caught up with all those vehicles… they were waiting at a red light.

Perhaps some of the experiences I had in the time and place where I had the privilege of growing up, helped me to focus on using time not saving time….. For instance, I learned to use time to have fun and relax in ways that are lost today.

On those long summer days after the store closed, I’d sit on the porch of the store, sometimes alone but usually with two or three others from our little town. We would talk, laugh, share stories and watch the muscle cars of the day go by…..waiting for someone in a finely tuned “big-block” to pull up to the stop sign. We would instantly yell out “Light em up!” or “Let’s hear it!” Most would oblige us with a mighty roar of their engine and a decent burn-out as they took off, and occasionally if one was a good driver, they would treat us to a perfect “360” right there in front of us!

Another example of using time that created a wonderful memory-yet some might consider a waste of time, was some of the older men who would come in that general store and tell their stories. If D.R. and Louie ever met at the same time in the store, it was incredible! Those two put together could talk for four to five hours with stories that usually began with “years ago…..” or maybe something like “I remember back in 08”…. (now of course that was 1908 they were talking about!) That’s all it would take, and the stories would flow for hours! (If you listened carefully there was also a lot of history mixed in the stories they were telling!)

Now that is so foreign to the way people live and work today that some may think those men were wasting time NOT using time. I still disagree.Those men were using their minds, reliving exciting events from their lives and passing on some history that was soon to be gone forever! I enjoyed hearing it…. they enjoyed telling it. The time was enjoyably used, not wasted.

There have been many popular songs over the years about time and turning back time or saving time and other matters of time. But the song I like the most about time is almost word for word, the first 8 verses of Ecclesiastes 3. It was a #1 hit for The Byrds in 1965, the song: “Turn! Turn! Turn!” The meaning is “a time for everything”.

I know I can’t save time….. But! I do want to continue to use time to learn, have fun, relax, enjoy creation and to worship and honor the One who created time for us to use…..God.

Till Next Time…..

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Steve Nauman

These wonderful posts are written by my good friend Steve Nauman. He lives on a farm in northern Indiana with his wife, Ruth.

He owned and operated a machine shop until 2020. These stories come from the people and experiences that made lasting impressions upon him as he grew up in his father's general store in Upstate NY and later in his own business.