How (Not) to Reset a Rooster
“But if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:8
A week ago, most of us bid a reluctant farewell to Daylight Saving Time and mumbled a recalcitrant welcome to its often undesirable (and less excitingly named) counterpart…standard time. This phenomenon, though technically occurring at 2:00 a.m., tends to be ushered in much earlier as people go about their home resetting clocks, appliances, and watches before they go to bed. That’s what I did last Saturday night. I reset clocks and timers all around the house so that, upon waking, I’d know the correct time. I, like most people, enjoy my annual 25-hour day, and as I set clocks back, I set plans forward. After much deliberation, I decided I’d use my “extra” hour that night to get some work done that would, hopefully, allow me to have some free time the following day. It seemed like the perfect plan, but I forgot one thing: you can’t reset a rooster.
Here’s what happened. After setting every time-reflecting device in the house to its new time, I went to bed. It was later than usual, due to the cashing in of my extra hour (turns out you can buy time on credit too, though it also has a hefty interest rate). I was pleased with my usage of time and laid down for a much needed rest. Within moments, or so it seemed, I was awakened by the crowing of our rooster. That’s when it hit me: you can’t reset a rooster! While I had adjusted clocks, timers, and watches, I hadn’t adjusted the rooster (though in my mind I was thinking of how that might yet be done!), and it was a foul reminder that some things can’t be reset; some things are governed by inner laws and not outer labels.
Isn’t that true of us, too? Or…shouldn’t that be true of us, too? Shouldn’t there be attributes that are so deeply ingrained in us that the changing of time has no impact upon them, no possibility of resetting them or renaming them? This lesson wasn’t the alarm I was expecting to wake up to last Sunday, but within the rooster’s innate wiring that caused him to crow, I found that in life, as in roosters, some things should not be reset because they are not meant to be reset.
As if to ingrain this message into my head even further, our Sunday school lesson that day came from 2 Peter 1:5-11. One of my favorite verses lies within this passage: verse eight, or, as it was first ‘magnified’ to me – 2P18 (two P one eight). In these verses, Peter is introducing the early believers to Daylight Saving Time. They’d previously been on standard time, but having encountered Jesus, the Timeless One, they were all due for a resetting! And Peter was just the man for the job. After all, his Son-dial had already been altered and his bout with a rooster had left him with an undeniable understanding of things that could not be reset. So, with such knowledge fresh on his mind, Peter set out to reset what he could – the mindset of other believers. That’s where 2P18 comes into play. That’s where Peter “cleans the clocks” of those who are ready to leave standard time, and standard living, behind.
In verse eight of this passage, Peter writes, “But if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The emphasis is on these things: these things that are to be present in every believer; these things that are not to be reset or readjusted, these things that are to keep time with the steady heartbeat of a palpable faith. So what are these things? Peter tells us beginning in verse five: “Therefore, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound…”. And there you have it: Daylight Saving Time for every follower of Christ! But just how do we move from a standard lifestyle to a time honoring one? We allow Jesus to reset our spiritual clocks as we recognize that He alone holds our time in His hands. We step out of living on standard time and step into living on reset time…on redeemed time…on Son-Light Saving Time! And when we do, these things become our inner setting that, in time and with time, need never change. Regardless of the season, regardless of the circumstance, regardless of the timing…faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love are to be as ingrained in us as the rising and the setting of the sun. With each new day, these things hold true. With each new season, these things ring true. With each new resetting, these things remain true. In season and out of season, these things are to be the default setting…the default crowing…of every believer.
And there you have it: how not to reset a rooster. He’ll crow when he’s supposed to; he’ll crow because he’s supposed to. He’ll crow when it’s appreciated; he’ll crow when it’s depreciated. He’ll crow when it’s standard time; he’ll crow when it’s Daylight Saving Time; but regardless of what others think or expect, he’ll crow at the right time…because you can’t reset a rooster. May we live and learn and crow like him. May we, like those men and women Peter addressed long ago, allow these things to be said of us, to be seen in us, and to be heard from us.