Wind the Clock
February 10, 2021
Don't Miss a Devotional
Sign up to get Mark’s encouraging devotions in your inbox every week
Caleb was forty years old when he was chosen as one of twelve spies to do reconnaissance in the Promised Land. It was Caleb who cast vision to the nation: “Let us go up at once and possess it; we are well able to conquer it.” If I had to guess Caleb’s StrengthsFinder profile, it would definitely include Positivity. Unfortunately, the negativity of the majority cost the Israelites forty years in the wilderness.
According to one rabbinic tradition, Caleb left the other spies after entering the Promised Land and paid a visit to Hebron. This was where the matriarch and patriarch, Sarah and Abraham, were buried. This was where they had built altars, pitched tents, and dug wells. Hebron was holy ground, and while I can’t prove this, I can’t help but wonder whether Caleb swore on his ancestors’ graves that he would be back to reclaim what was rightfully theirs.
Fast-forward forty-five years, and Caleb was still winding the clock with vision. His entire adult life had been aimed at this singular goal, and it was almost within reach. You can feel the conviction in his voice, can’t you? “Now give me this hill country.” Caleb possessed his piece of the Promised Land. Mission accomplished, right?
Not so fast.
We think right here, right now. God is thinking nations and generations! Caleb wasn’t conquering Hebron just for himself. More than four hundred years later, David would be crowned king in the city Caleb conquered. David was standing on Caleb’s shoulders! It was Caleb’s victory that made David’s coronation possible! When you wind the clock the way Caleb did, your brave becomes someone else’s breakthrough!
Sociologist Elise Boulding once diagnosed modern society with “temporal exhaustion.” Sounds about right, doesn’t it? She said, “If one is mentally out of breath all the time from dealing with the present, there is no energy left for imagining the future.” The solution? If you’re going to dream big, you’ve got to think long. How long? Boulding recommended what she called “the 200-year present.” It begins one hundred years ago, with those who have reached their one hundredth birthday. It ends with those born today who will live to be one hundred.
By thinking about that span of time as encompassing the living present reality of people you know and care about, that span of time becomes accessible. It becomes our time in a very pro¬found sense. This 200-year span belongs to us: it’s our life space. It’s the space in which we should be thinking, planning and making judgments, evaluating, hoping and dreaming.
We are the beneficiaries of sacrifices we cannot imagine and risks we cannot calculate. We live in cities we did not build, drink from wells we did not dig, and harvest fields we did not plant. Why? Because people long, long ago wound the clock with their faith, hope, and love.
We are the answers to prayers we know nothing about. Why not return the favor? Quit wasting time, and wind the clock for the third and fourth generation.
Go, set, ready!
Excerpted from Win the Day: 7 Daily Habits to Help You Stress Less & Accomplish More. Copyright © 2020 by Mark Batterson. Used by permission of Multnomah, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
Mark Batterson serves as lead pastor of National Community Church in Washington, DC. NCC also owns and operates Ebenezers Coffeehouse, The Miracle Theatre, and the DC Dream Center. Mark holds a doctor of ministry degree from Regent University and is the New York Times bestselling author of 17 books, including The Circle Maker, Chase the Lion, and Whisper. Mark and his wife, Lora, have three children and live on Capitol Hill.