The engineering project is in the middle of nowhere, several miles from a crossroads called Cedar Springs, Georgia. The industrial plant sits on the Georgia side of the Chattahoochee River, which is the boundary between Georgia and Alabama, and where the Eastern and Central time zones meet.
Because it is so isolated, the closest decent motel is twenty-eight miles west in Dothan, Alabama. That makes it interesting from a “what time is it?” standpoint. The work is in the Eastern Time zone, so you show up and leave according to that. Lunch is on Eastern time.
But, otherwise, you’re living in Central time. The clocks in Dothan show one hour earlier than across the river. Cell phones register Central time. That might help if you want to get in an extra hour of sleep, but not if you have an appointment back on the other side.
There are ways to handle the time warp. One is to try to remember the hour difference and factor it in when you look at a clock. However, the simplest way is to leave your watch on Eastern time, and set the clock in the motel room up an hour to match it. Then, eat and sleep according to Eastern time. You choose which side of the river you want to be your reference, and live by it.
The conflicting time zones are much like us Christians living “in the world”. On Sundays, we get a good dose of God’s Word, and fellowship, and we can spend devotional time the other mornings to stay close to Him for a few minutes. But, much of the other time, we are across the river, so to speak, in the world.
The Bible teaches that even though we live in the world, we aren’t to be “of the world.” That means our words, actions, attitude and motivation throughout the day should be different from the unbelievers around us. The simplest way (and really the only way) to do that is to set God’s Word as our reference, and rely on the Holy Spirit to help our efforts to live by that reference. That way, it won’t matter what “time zone” we’re in, because our spiritual clock will always be correct.
These are Jesus’ words of prayer to the Father – “I pray not that thou should take them out of the world, but that thou should keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth; thy Word is truth. As thou has sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.” John 17:16-18 KJV