I hate waking up.
I’ve had violent dreams about my alarm clock (used to anyway – don’t have one now). One in particular – I dreamt I had fallen into a vat of snakes (think Indiana Jones), and the only recourse I had was to beat the snakes away with my fist. I fought for dear life – only to have Christi start shaking me telling me to wake up. I was pounding my alarm clock with my fist in my sleep – figure that one out, Freud.
As I said before, I don’t have an alarm clock now, a) for safety reasons, and b) because I have kids. Ever since we brought our first child home I’ve had no need for an alarm clock. If I set the alarm, I can count on one of my wonderful children waking me up 15 minutes before the alarm is set to go off. No kidding. I can set the alarm for 5:00, and one of them will cry, fall, or puke at a quarter till. I got rid of the alarm, and now I at least get to sleep till 6:30.
I hate waking up – and it takes a pretty good alarm to get me up – the kids seem to have that mastered.
There have been other alarms ringing in my life that have woken me up, too.
Last week I tried on two pairs of slacks that I swear must have shrunk at the cleaners. (It couldn’t have been the DQ Blizzard’s, Double Lattes, and Super Nachos that got us through Christi’s pregnancy.) Wake up, fat boy, it’s time to start running again.
The other day my 8 year old daughter lipped off to me with some snide comment. When I asked where she had picked it up, she pointed to me. There’s a clarion call. I’ve been ignoring the green meany that’s been taking over lately, my little fits of rage, bursts of temper, snide little comments under my breath. I’ve been a monster lately, and the family’s noticed, and my children have started to act like me. My stress level is through the roof, my hair – what’s not falling out – is greying quickly, and the skin on my nose and forehead is peeling. Stress much?!? I’ve put it all together and seen that my body is saying, wake up, find your freakin’ happy spot before your head explodes.
I got my quarterly update from my investment advisor a coule of weeks ago – my retirement account is down 14% from last year. Ouch. The market’s down, economy’s struggling, and every cent of my paycheck is spoken for. We tithe, we save, but after the bills are paid, there’s nothing left. If we didn’t have a massive credit card debt to pay off, we’d actually have extra money each month. Boy, this is a rude wake up call to really start living within my means.
This Advent season brings us another wake up call. In Mark 13, Jesus tells his disciples about the signs of the end times, when the Son of Man will come on the clouds in glory to gather His people to Himself. Jesus said “the sun will be darkened, the moon will not shine it’s light, the stars will fall from the heavens, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.” Why doesn’t hallmark put that on a greeting card?
Jesus knows the hearts of His disciples grow impatient and calloused as they await His return. The longer we wait, the less we look for His return. But Jesus said we are to stay awake, that we should not fall asleep, or let down our guard, for we do not know when He is coming, and we don’t want to be caught unprepared.
Do you hear the wake up call today. Our world is in upheaval, there’s genocide, pride, selfishness, greed, and violent acts perpetrated on the innocent and unsuspecting.
We get tired of doing the good works that God has called us to, we get frustrated when we don’t see immediate results, and we give up. Christ says – Wake Up! I’m coming soon.
We are overwhelmed by the pressures of overburdened lives, and we opt for expediency rather than faithfulness, comfort rather than endurance, and we let down our guard. Christ says – Keep Watch! I’m coming soon.
We turn to Christmas and are caught up in lights, packages, vacations, and bills – the sound of chipmunks singing Feliz Navidad drowns out the still small voice of the baby in the manger, a cry that reminds us that if He came then, He is sure to come again. Christ says – Stay wake! I’m coming soon.
Christ is coming. Are you expecting Him? Are you looking for His return? Do you long for His appearing? Can you say with sincerity, Come Lord Jesus? Do you live as if you expect Him to be here tomorrow?
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.
Maranatha! Lord, Come Quickly!