“Out of the right fob hung a great silver chain, with a wonderful kind of engine at the bottom. We directed him to draw out whatever was fastened to that chain; which appeared to be a globe, half silver, and half of some transparent metal: for on the transparent side we saw certain strange figures circularly drawn, and thought we could touch them, till we found our fingers stopped with that lucid substance. He put this engine to our ears, which made an incessant noise like that of a watermill: and we conjecture it is either some unknown animal, or the god that he worships; but we are more inclined to the latter opinion, because he assures us (if we understood him right, for he expressed himself very imperfectly) that he seldom did any thing without consulting it. he called it his oracle, and said it pointed out the time for every action of his life.”
The Lilliputians’ descriptions of Capt. Gulliver’s pocket watch, from Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift.
A year ago, one of my kind and generous brothers who possess excellent taste brought me a lovely, mulberry-colored wristwatch for my birthday. I love it because it’s from my brother, it’s classy, and it’s extremely practical. If I forget to put it on in the morning, I soon miss it, because I’m constantly checking it–like Gulliver, it almost becomes a god sometimes. Other times, I wish I would have paid more attention to its silent, constant admonition.
A year ago, I set the time, pushed in the crown, and watched my pretty little watch count its first seconds. And whether it was looked to or not, whether or not its silent advice was heeded, the watch ticked faithfully on. The watch ticked out seconds; minutes; hours; days; weeks; months. Finally, the watch ticked out an entire year. That first year ended this morning.
The watch was there, and could bear witness to what I did with each minute I was given. For truly, I was given each minute. They were granted for my benefit, productivity, and maturation from the hand of God himself. Five hundred and twenty-five thousand, six-hundred of them. So many precious little gifts. Some abused, some lost, some wasted. Some redeemed into usefulness, treasured to goodness. One thing is certain–those minutes are all gone. All have ‘ticked their last.’
Yet the watch ticks on.