I was about to turn in for the night when a Facebook message popped up on my phone. It was from a former boyfriend. I tapped on the message.
"Are you taken?" he asked. I blinked. Taken?
Well, God did warn about judgement day, but as far as I was concerned, all tucked up in my pyjamas with a toy Eeyore next to me, I was still on earth.
Oh, it dawned on me what he meant. "No, still single," I said.
"Well, you'd better hurry. I already have daughter. You've a biological clock, you know," he said.
The darned biological clock
I'm not remotely aware if I was born with one. When I was 22, friends were telling me I would hear the clock ticking away the minute I hit 26. 26 came and went, and I turned 29 three months ago.
Still no sound of the tick-tock of the clock. It was strangely silent.
The conversation had left me feeling uncomfortable and a little bit indignant. Why can't people just leave single people alone? Why is society constantly telling single women they need to find 'The One', radio stations offering women the chance to hook them up with a soul mate, and that dreaded clock... ugh!
But it got me thinking. What if we looked at the biological clock the same way we look at our short lives on earth?
Teach us to number our days so we may gain a heart of wisdom – Psalm 90, verse 12
Like the biological clock, our God-ordained days on earth are ticking away, and the window of opportunities we get to serve the people around us, or go through our 'bucket lists' gets narrower and narrower with each passing day.
The season of singleness is a precious one, filled with endless possibilities.
I'll be the first to say I initially disliked being single. I was terrified I'd end up like The Simpsons' spinster sisters, Patty and Selma. I would constantly fret to my sister about my fate of ending up as the strange cat lady with 100 felines roaming her front porch.
One day she had about enough of it and said she did not want to be my Selma, and could I please stop worrying?
She also rolled out a penalty system, and every time I uttered "Patty and Selma", I would be fined $5, and the money donated to a political party I did not support. I raked up $20 in fines (I was too stingy to pull in any more fines) and the money was duly sent away.
But it worked.
I started looking for ways to fill 'the gap'. I started serving on my church's welcome team, helping guests feel at home.
I joined the local adult swim squad, and swam and swam until my muscles ached.
I read books. A lot of books. I drank in novels and autobiographies as if they were all to be burnt tomorrow.
I went for church's community impact days, helping people in need to dust and tidy their homes, showing them God's love.
More importantly, it made me look to God for my self-worth, knowing I was precious, honoured, and loved so very much by the Father.
Lord, use me
With each new morning, we have aged another 24-hours. One day, we'll wake up to creaky joints and stiff backs. We'll wonder why we didn't take that trip, learn that language or serve while we were able.
Regrets fill our minds. How did we use those precious hours? Hankering for a spouse? Crying to God to send you 'The One'? Fretting about not finding a life partner?
How different would it be if we had used our lives to cry to God, asking, "Lord, show me someone I can serve someone today! Use me!"
Oh, how He'll take us to places we wouldn't dream of. How He'll use this season of singleness and make it fruitful.
But to the unmarried people and to the widows, I declare that it is well (good, advantageous, expedient, and wholesome) for them to remain [single] even as I do – 1 Corinthians chapter 7, verse 8
The biological clock may be ticking. So are our lives on earth. Use them wisely, and let your light so shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven – Matthew chapter 5, verse 16.
Michele Ong currently works as a writer for a Christian non-profit organisation. She believes in the power of the written word, and the impact it has on lives. In her spare time, she can be found trying to put together a decent meal, or pretending to be an elite swimmer in the pools. For more of Michele’s articles look here: https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/michele-ong.html