Commanding the Sun to Shine
A Mildly Contentious Commentary on Daylight Savings Time
To say “I’m literally shaking right now” would be an exaggeration, but it helps the reader know how “triggered” I am at the possibility of making Daylight Savings Time permanent. I recognize that this seems like an overreaction to some, and I accept that it’s possible. Please, allow me to rant and consider what I have to say. If the Lord allows, some wisdom might find its way onto these pages as I type them between my belligerent ramblings about eco-idolatry, consumerism, and unnatural blue light.
Please consider this condensed history of the subject. In elementary schooling years, you probably heard that Daylight Savings Time started with Benjamin Franklin and his desire to give farmers access to banking services. Of course, before the conventional use of electricity and lighting, business hours were daylight hours. By taking an hour of sunlight from the morning and applying it to the evening, this segment of society could fully participate in the city’s services. Maybe this is partially true, but it isn’t the entire picture. Let it suffice that if you give people more sunlight hours in the evening, they will use less energy to light and heat themselves, and a convenient byproduct is that they have more time to enjoy the evening and spend money on goods and services.
It also may be helpful to quickly look at the image linked here to visualize what is happening when we fuddle with the clock’s little hand.
Tyrants Gunna Tyrannize
I’ve expected federal action on the Daylight Savings Time controversy within the ‘20s. However, not for a second did I expect Daylight Savings Time to be what stuck instead of Standard Time.
Yesterday (March 15th, 2022), the United States Senate unanimously passed a resolution making Daylight Savings Time permanent. Of course, it will not take effect until 2023, and it must pass the House and the President’s desks. Assuming this occurs, March of 2023 will be the last time you change your clocks.
However, this is egregiously wrong, foolish, and frankly–wicked.
Unhinging from our Agrarian Roots
Here’s the deal with Ben Franklin and the farmers. A farmer doesn’t care what time it is. Is the sun up, or is it not? It doesn’t matter if you’re stealing from Peter or Paul–there are only so many hours going around, and a farmer will use all of them.
But what seems to be happening is an “unhinging” from our agricultural and productive roots. Under the model of Daylight Savings Time, we’re choosing to wake during “unproductive hours” when the sun has yet to rise. An explanation for this is that we have unproductive jobs–which I believe to be the case for many people. Ultimately, we choose to spend more of our waking hours, our daylight hours, in the evening; this comes after we’ve worked our shift, or after we’ve attended school, or done the household chores. As a people, we care less about what we can produce or accomplish and more about what we can consume. Of course, consumption in excess often happens later in the day.
A Prediction Concerning the Eco-Idolater
The first nation to adopt a version of Daylight savings time was Germany during WW1. More evening hours spent outdoors and under the sun meant less oil for lighting and less coal for heating. Less oil and coal in the home meant more for the war machine.
Now, while I have no substantive evidence that the Eco-Idolaters are defacto-adherents to the permanence of Daylight Savings Time, it will only take a couple of NPR segments to sway them. People generally use more electricity in the evening. By permanently affixing their daylight hours to the evening, Germany’s same logic will apply–less coal, fuel, and electricity will be consumed. Eco-Idolater, rejoice!
I will spare the reader an exhaustive thesis about blue-light, circadian rhythms, wake-up or shut-down cycles, and how they’re affected by time changes. Instead, understand this–if you wake up before the sun and indulge in blue lights by illuminating the home, checking Twitter, and immediately jumping into your work emails, you will suffer physically, mentally, and spiritually. You are designed by God to see reds, yellows, and oranges (are you picturing some God bookends every day with?) that stir awake all of your physiological processes. By denying this natural order, we decay into the Bugman, operate outside the confines of nature, and delve into a sleep-deprived transhumanistic state.
A Biblical Word
There is a tremendous amount of biblical wisdom concerning when we rise when we sleep. There are also equal references to rising before the sun as rising with the sun. I will not make a biblical case as to when you should wake. I do want to focus on two Scriptures I find helpful in an adjacent way:
Woe to those who rise early in the morning, that they may run after strong drink, who tarry late into the evening as wine inflames them! Isaiah 5:11
Ultimately, our obsession with Daylight Savings Time is to gain more “free” hours. These “free” hours allow us to continue enslaving ourselves to consumerism. Yes, socializing, eating out, going to a movie, etc., are all glorious things given to us in the New Covenant; however, to orient ourselves in a way that focuses our waking hours on these things rather than the things of God would be outright wicked. Our daylight hours are for Him, not for Us (Psalm 113:3).
A just balance and scales are the Lord's; all the weights in the bag are his work. Proverbs 16:11
We’re out of balance. We are subject to tyrants that not only try to take from the Lord His rightful possession of good weights, measures, and scales; we are subject to tyrants that believe the clock belongs to them. They know that only God can tell the sun when to rise or when to set, and they hate Him for it. Instead, they will oppress His image-bearers when to rise and when to set.
This potential permanence of Daylight Savings Time may seem to some like a non-starter. Some may even be advocates for it. Perhaps it appears that I am gaslighting the reader. However, I am fully convinced that these efforts to make Daylight Savings Time are in error. In some small way, this is just another part of our judgment at the hands of foolish leaders.
So, to my brothers and sisters in Christ, wake up tomorrow and watch the sunrise and remember that at the end of the day (pun intended), it is the Lord that tells the sun when to shine (Job 9:7), and at the end of days, the Lord will be our light (Isaiah 60:19-21) and our horological folly will be no more. Praise God!