Grandfather Finds A Home
Standing tall by the side of the road next to a TV he looked so out of place. I almost had to do a double take as I drove by. I pulled over, parked my car and knocked on the door. I had to find out why grandfather was just standing there. After a little while a lady appeared. I asked her why I was seeing this sight on the road? She said that she was tired of dealing with things that didn’t work. An idea was brewing in my head. Maybe if this grandfather was in a different setting with a little tender loving care he could be useful again!
Grandfather in this case wasn’t a person but a beautiful clock. Grandfather clocks used to be called long case clocks. That all changed in 1876 when a song came out about grandfather’s long case clock by American Henry Clay Work. Henry was visiting England and he was at a place called Piercebridge, North Yorkshire at a hotel called the George Inn. While he was there he saw a long case clock in the hallway. The clock was not running and it was explained to Henry that the clock had not worked since it’s grandfatherly owner had died. With the idea of that clock in his head, when he got back to America he wrote a song called “My Grandfathers Clock.” The song was told in the grandsons view about his grandfather and his clock. In the song the clock was purchased when grandfather was born and died along with him when he was 90. The song became so popular that the long case clocks became known as grandfather clocks.
My dad was retired at the time and I went to his house on a mission for assistance. Dad was happy to help and we set off on the road to where grandfather was standing. I feared that someone else had discovered him and taken him away. Fortunately as we got closer to the house I saw him still standing tall there! We didn’t have a truck or anything made to carry a clock almost seven feet tall. We ended up putting him in the back of the trunk in such a way that about half was overhanging out the back. I drove carefully and made it home. We were able to carry grandfather into the living room and set him up.
It was a few days later as I was looking through the shopper paper we used to get. In it there was an ad that caught my eye. A man that fixed grandfather clocks was advertising his services. I quickly gave him a call and he came out that week. I didn’t know anything about grandfather clocks and was wondering the value of this one. The man informed me that my clock was a hand made clock. Apparently someone had decided to build a clock and in a labor of love they did. I would not find a brand name on this clock where I could access a value. Although my clock had a monetary value when working, it’s sentimental value should have been enormous! After all this clock was hand crafted, probably a gift for someone deeply loved!
My mind drifted back to the repair person. He was working away with a delicate touch slowly tuning the clock with his expert hands. It was all about the balancing of the weights he told me. Being such a novice I couldn’t really comprehend all that he was doing. He worked quickly turning something here and there and listening ever so closely as it ran. In no time he had my clock clicking away in perfect rhythm. He set the chimes so they rang nicely on the quarter hours! The fee was very reasonable and he left me with a real treasure.
Years passed as grandfather did his job in grand style. Then one day we must have wound him a little too tight because grandfather stopped ticking. I tried to make him work time and again in the days ahead and he worked for maybe a ten minutes span before stopping again. I couldn’t find the name of the repairman who started him up years ago so he stood without a purpose for awhile. The side of the road was not an option for my beautiful clock. Even though he wasn’t able to fulfill his purpose I still thought he gave the room a special unique look! I still had hopes that his reliable constant ticking would return. My sister came over one day and noticing grandfather was not working mentioned that her friends son repairs grandfather clocks. We had him come over and in no time grandfather was ticking in a nice rhythm again! Once again it was an easy fix for the expert as he balanced the weights properly and used some oil to lubricate the parts. Since that day the only times he has stopped running were when I had forgotten to wind him. He needs to be wound once a week but that little exercise is so worthwhile!
There have been times when storms came by and all of the clocks in the house quit running. All the clocks that is except for dependable grandfather who doesn’t need electricity! He just desires a little care once a week and after that he performs his job quietly and efficiently. Some of the lyrics from the original song describe my grandfather clock.
My grandfather said that of those he could hire,
Not a servant so faithful he found;
For it wasted no time, and had but one desire —
At the close of each week to be wound.
Grandfather was uniquely created and individually worked on. He was not the product of an assembly line. He came to be because his creator loved making him and loved the usefulness he would fulfill! That is exactly how and why Gods hands created us. He made us unique in our own way! He made us to serve a purpose in this big world he put us in. What joy it would be to be called a faithful servant, the kind the grandfather labeled his clock as!
There are times when we feel that the purpose God created us for has become lost in the shuffle. We may feel hopelessly out of place as circumstances change and we don’t feel needed anymore. Sometimes we feel like we are the clock on the side of the road, totally out of sorts and totally useless. Other times we may feel like the clock, seemingly in the right place but functionless none the less. A quick call to our God and creator can change everything! As with my clock it is probably just a matter of balancing things as he lovingly will tune our lives for his glory. Our life story is like a book he has written and it has many chapters. We are down here living out the story. God can and will open and close chapters in our life book as he maximizes our usefulness. Just because one chapter is ending doesn’t mean our book ends. Usually a new chapter very different than the old is just beginning and in the new chapter grandfather isn’t standing by the side of the road anymore!
Click below to hear “My Grandfather’s Clock”