The Sand Clock

The Sand Clock

I went to my desk on Christmas Eve morning to find that our beloved sand clock glass had somehow broken. I threw it away, then fished it out again to take one last dramatic photo.

Sand clocks have always held a fascination for me, especially this one. It was a gift to my wife last Christmas, meant to represent “the gift of spending time together.” It also reminded me of a story and play I had written based around the symbolism of the sand clock.

I thought nothing more about it and went to my job that day as Santa at a corporate Christmas event. As I was going around the offices and taking photos with the employees and their children, I spied an exquisite sand clock in one office. We entered and took photos there with all the small children standing on the manager’s desk. I remarked to him how superb the sand clock looked and the significance that kind of clock has for me.

“I use it to make sure meetings are kept to under 30 minutes,” he replied.

“Did you get it in India?” I asked, hoping to replace my broken one. (I was living in India at the time.)

“Yes, I’ll give you the address where I bought it.” I was making my exit when he had a sudden inspiration. He handed me the sand clock with a smile that rivaled Saint Nick’s and told me, “This is a Christmas gift from me to you.” I thanked him profusely and promised to send him my Christmas sand clock story.

I came home with my new sand clock in hand, bubbling over to tell my story. It was about midnight before I arrived in our parking lot from a nearly two-hour journey across town. To my surprise, my daughter and my wife arrived in the parking lot at precisely the same moment. It was a good thing, because only one of us had a key to our house. If either of the others had arrived earlier, they would have had to wait outside. Three cars from different locations and times arriving at the exact same minute! What are the chances? You wouldn’t be able to pull off such a feat in the mayhem of Mumbai traffic even if you arranged it beforehand.

So what does that have to do with my sand clock? I wasn’t exactly sure, but like a detective, I felt there was some connection. After pondering it further, I came to the conclusion that they were both examples of a power behind the scenes that cares deeply about the details of my life. I mulled over the amazing events that had unfolded. Had it all been a coincidence? It was all too wonderful to have been by chance. If not by chance, then what?

For some, these “coincidences” are just random events that they brush past and continue on their way. I too could have dismissed both of the incidents of that Christmas Eve as mere random “good luck.” But when looking back, I remembered many other Christmases when things just seemed to click like the tumblers of a safe that is opened. I take them to mean that God loves me and is concerned about showing me His care in the details of these occurrences.

Most of the time I don’t see what God is doing behind the scenes, and sometimes what He’s up to is baffling, but it’s a wonderful boost to my faith when miracles happen to me as they did this Christmas Eve. It is at times like these that I get a glimpse of His handiwork.


In life, we must make all due allowance for chance. Chance, in the last resort, is God.—Anatole France (1844–1924)


Christmas Goals

Christmas is an ideal time to rededicate ourselves to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, the one who gave His life for us, that we might be connected to God. “He longs for that sweet communion, that union of heart with heart.”

Another goal would be to share the real meaning of Christmas with others by giving them God’s love and gift of eternal life. We can share a truly “Merry Christmas” by pointing others to the peace, happiness, and joy of the love of Jesus Christ.

During the Christmas season, most people become more open to others and mindful of their needs. It’s a time of reflection, when many stop to think about the true values in life. It’s a time when people are often more receptive to the story of Jesus and why He came to earth.

Don’t let this golden opportunity pass you by! Make it your personal goal to bring another soul within the circle of Jesus’ love.—Author unknown

Curtis Peter van Gorder

Curtis Peter van Gorder

Curtis Peter van Gorder is a writer and pantomime artist and facilitator, living in Germany. See Elixir Mime website.

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