The Thief

A thief visited our home in the middle of the night one spring. He came in quietly while we were sleeping, took what he came for, and just as quietly left. The sad thing is we knew he was coming, and yet we did nothing. We were forewarned but made no preparations. If we had only kept watch, we would have been ready for his arrival. The thief’s name was daylight savings time. He came in and stole an hour of our time, and we didn’t even know it.

That Sunday morning I woke up at 6:00 a.m. (or so I thought!). I prayed, showered, and had breakfast with the family. I left the house and arrived at the church a full half hour before the morning service began (or so I thought!).

As I entered the parking lot, I noticed an unusual number of cars for so early in the morning. And then suddenly it hit me. The people were not there early; I was late. And that church service starting in half an hour? It had already begun, and at least one of the pastors was not inside! I hurried to my office, grabbed what I needed for the service and entered the sanctuary with as much dignity as possible. I had now experienced and survived what is supposedly a pastor’s worst nightmare. I guess I’m ready for anything now!

The following week I paused to reflect upon Christ’s second coming in light of my experience. All week long I had heard the warnings to turn my clock ahead one hour. All week long I told myself I had plenty of time to take care of it. In the same way, how many people have heard that Jesus is coming back and yet they make no preparation for his return? Yet he will come as a thief in the night, at an hour when many do not expect.

Jesus said in the last days people will be eating and drinking and carrying on their lives as though nothing was wrong right up to the last moment. As I ate breakfast that Sunday morning, I didn’t know anything was wrong. But then came the moment of realization in the church parking lot. A paralyzing sense of helplessness swept over me. The time had changed, church had started, and there was nothing I could do about it. It will be the same for those who are not ready when Jesus returns. It will be too late for them, and there will be nothing they can do.

It is with good reason that the Bible says, “Now is the day of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2). Do you know the Lord? Today is the day for you to change your mind about Jesus and receive him as your Savior. Don’t wait until it’s too late.


  1. Joules says:

    Oh, this is funny! I think people in your congregation would have been disappointed if you hadn’t been able to harness the experience and use it as a lesson. That way they got to hear you tell of your flawed humanity–a congregational favorite.

  2. Ray Fowler says:


    The whole thing was pretty funny. Granted, it wasn’t funny at the time, but it has since become a favorite story. After I first shared the whole story with the congregation, some of them told me they saw me come in late, but didn’t realize that I had forgotten to change my clocks. They thought I had been off counseling or praying with someone. I thought, “Rats! I could have gotten away with this!”

    I guess it’s good to be able to laugh at ourselves. Otherwise we would be the only one who wasn’t in on the joke. 🙂

    Thanks for commenting!


  3. Moira says:

    Frank, Joycie McGinnis and I were stranded in the Houston airport Sunday 3-11-07 and your name came up. We were hoping to get on a flight back to FT. Lauderdale, but were standby. We thought we would have a chance in the early hours due to daylight savings time and if more people had forgotten we would have been able to board that flight. No such luck so we rented a car and drove back home in 21 hours straight. It was loooong. But we thought of you in a good vain.
    Thanks for the blog page.
    Blessings to you and your family
    Moira Douglas

  4. Ray Fowler says:


    Good to hear from you. Glad to hear you got back safely. I used to be able to drive 21 hours straight, but no more. Give my best to Frank.


  5. Joycie McGinnis says:

    Ray, I remember that morning, it was really funny. That’s one of the things I love about our church, we are able to laugh about most everytning.

  6. Jan Washburn says:

    I agree with Joycie. It’s great to be able to laugh about our mistakes. I am not a morning person, and it takes me several weeks to get used to getting up even earlier. I have to blame Benjamin Franklin. I think daylight saving was his idea.
    P.S. The nearest thing I have to a website is my Author’s Page on

Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Set Your Clocks Ahead for DST at Ray Fowler .org
  2. Change Clocks Tonight Or Else … at Ray Fowler .org
  3. Change Clocks Tonight (Fall 2009) at Ray Fowler .org
  4. Change Clocks Tonight (Spring 2010) at Ray Fowler .org

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