"That Clock's Hands May Soon Be Still"

During the prohibition era, Al Capone virtually owned Chicago. Capone was notorious for engaging in bootlegged booze, prostitution, and even murder. Capone had a lawyer by the name of Edward J. O’Hare who was later nicknamed “Easy Eddie.” He was Capone’s lawyer for a good reason. Eddie was very good! In fact, Eddie’s skill at legal maneuvering, kept Big Al out of jail for a long time. To show his appreciation, Capone paid him very well. Not only was the money big, but Eddie got special dividends as well. He and his family occupied a fenced-in mansion with live-in help and all of the conveniences of the day. The estate was so large that it filled an entire Chicago city block.

Eddie lived the high life of the Chicago  mob and gave little consideration to the atrocities that went on around him. However, Eddie had one soft spot in the form of his son who he dearly loved. Eddie saw to it that his young son had all the necessities of life plus a good education. Nothing was withheld — price was no object. Despite his involvement with organized crime, Eddie even tried to teach him right from wrong because he wanted his son to be a better man than he was. Yet, with all his wealth and influence, there were two things he couldn’t give his son. He couldn’t pass on a good name or a good example.

One day, Easy Eddie wanted to rectify wrongs he had done, so he decided he would go to the authorities and tell the truth about Al Capone, clean up his tarnished name, and offer his son some semblance of integrity. To do this, he would have to testify against the Mob, and he knew that the cost would be great, but he testified. Within the year, Easy Eddie’s life ended in a blaze of gunfire on a lonely Chicago street, but in his eyes, he had given his son the greatest gift he had to offer, at the greatest price he could ever pay. From his body, the police removed some religious items and a poem clipped from a magazine.

The poem read: “The clock of life is wound but once, and no man has the power to tell just when the hands will stop, at late or early hour. Now is the only time you own. Live, love, toil with a will. Place no faith in time, for the clock may soon be still.

Dear reader, like Easy Eddie’s life, the continuation of our life daily hinges on the clock of life. Who knows when that clock’s hands may soon be still (cf. Hebrews 9:27). Let us please consider the condition of our soul this day, and then take appropriate action to make our life right with God. Who knows if this day might be our last day on earth (Luke 12:16-21; cf. 2 Kings 20:1; Isaiah 38:1).

Mike Riley, Gospel Snippets