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Once upon a time
Make this vintage-style clock

Albert Einstein once said, “The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.”

    Well, I’m not one to argue with a mind like Einstein’s, but, at my house, it usually seems that everything is happening all at once. And for busy adults, time is the ever-looming menace. Along with its schedules and deadlines, it is what ages us, runs out on us and cannot be stopped. Like mosquitoes, the flu and other earthly scourges, time is one of those things that makes us ask, “What was God thinking when he invented that?!” Seems such a cruel thing, time. Or is it?
    We often hear or speak the phrases, “There’s never enough time,” or “I’m not getting any younger,” and, my personal (and often-used) favorite, “Time is against me.” With so much jammed into our days as we try to accomplish everything under the sun, we end up asking ourselves, “Where did the time go?” But before we lament time and its ceaseless march, there is one way in which time is our greatest friend. Look at it through the eyes of our faith. Envision time as a gift given to us by God. Time is the currency we are given to spend entirely for what we were made for. Sure, it is limited. Yes, it cannot be replenished. But that’s the point. If it were limitless, we would put off all the important things God wants us to do.
    Perhaps the problem is that our perspective on this matter is off, since we often don’t make good use of that great gift. We see time as a burning wick, limiting what our short lives can accomplish in the realm of temporal, worldly achievements (which ultimately leave us feeling unfulfilled in the end anyway). But, if we keep in mind our purpose – to love God and each other – we can see time differently. It is like the gasoline we carry for an important trip across the state. It is what we are given to use as efficiently and effectively as we can toward bringing our Lord’s kingdom to earth. It is, in short, what we must invest to get to heaven!
   Now, that doesn’t make deadlines go away. And it certainly doesn’t make the end of my life easier to accept when my time has run out. But, if it helps me make better decisions on how my time can be spent, and if it encourages me to do more for my fellow brothers and sisters, then maybe, just maybe, I can better answer that question, “What was God thinking when he invented that?”

Vintage-style clock

For this project, you will need:
• Cigar box
• Clock mechanism with hands (usually around $5 at any arts-and-crafts store or online)
• Scrapbook paper, trimmed to 8½ x 11”
• Computer and printer
• Scissors or craft knife
• Glue stick (or double stick tape)
• 1 small crucifix charm with loop removed (small wire cutter tool)
• Metal/jewelry cement
• Cordless drill, with appropriate-sized bit (look at size of mechanism’s diameter)
• One AA battery

 Almost any found object can be turned into a really cool, decorative clock: A photo frame, wooden tray, collector’s tin or almost anything from the woodcraft section of an arts-and-crafts chain will work. I prefer the vintage/old-world look, so I chose a distressed-looking cigar box. Don’t have one? Don’t worry. Use what you have.
    First, apply the main message or graphic on the face of the object. I printed out a quote on time (on 8 ½ x 11” scrapbook paper), trimmed it to its appropriate size and adhered it to the front of the box.
    Next, drill a hole where the clock mechanism and hands will be placed. Use your craft knife to carefully remove any loose wood or paper around hole. Position and adhere (w/ cement) the crucifix charm at 12 o’clock. You can add three other time markers at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock. Markers can be created with stickers, gemstones, paint or thumbtacks (just to name a few options).

Finally, insert the clock mechanism through drilled hole (inside front or back of cigar box) and assemble according to the mechanism’s instructions. Install battery, set the time and close the box.

Michelle Sessions DiFranco

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