- June 24, 2016
- Josh Godwin
We all know that dreaded sound. The shrill, electronic shrieking that demolishes our dreams and pulls us, unwillingly, from the blissful mires of sleepland. If Monday morning had a sound, it would be this sound. If pure, unfiltered evil were captured in a single device, it would this device. You already know what I’m alluding to, but out of sheer dread you don’t want to call it by its real name either: alarm clock.
If there was ever a device synonymous with maturity and functioning adulthood, it’s the modern alarm clock. I’m not talking about the cool alarm clocks of days by gone, with the swinging hammer that actually hits tiny brass bells to wake you up. Those have a degree of coolness and niftiness to them that pardons some of their mercilessness. I’m talking about the dull, lifeless, electronic buzzing of post-80s alarm clocks. The ones made famous in movies and TV by an off-camera hand slapping down joined by the drowsy grunt of recognition. That is the alarm clock I grew up with, and the alarm clock by which many of us begin our day. It’s the starting gate from which we stumble out of onto the racetrack of our daily lives.
But one of the great innovations of the modern alarm clock, perfected in the cell-phone alarm method, is the angel of mercy programmed into every modern alarm. I’m speaking, friends, of the snooze button. Oh, the snooze button, you beautiful thing! Just when I think the day has to start at this moment, I get 9 minutes more of sporadic, partial rest! The snooze program has become synonymous with waking up, as any person can tell you that an alarm set for 6:30am really translates to 6:48am (after two rounds of snooze button glory). It’s a dangerous game to play, as I’m sure many a meeting has been postponed in the neighborhood of 7-9 minutes for that purpose.
Sometimes I wonder if we as Christians have a snooze button programmed into us. When something happens and the heart and mind of collective Christians is awakened, is there something that lulls us back into a few more moments of unresponsiveness? When we encounter images or stories of people suffering across the globe and in our own neighborhoods that is the alarm clock of our soul sounding off to rouse us from our groggy routine and into action. But when we hear news of tragedy and it stirs our passion within us, how often do we hit our internal snooze button and roll back over?
Jesus continues to call each of us into an accountability of love for those around us. Whenever I find myself guilty of hitting my spiritual snooze button, I’m reminded of the scary story Matthew tells, the one about the sheep and the goats. If you haven’t read it, it’s in Matthew 25 and it’s a pretty cold shock to the system. How often have I ignored the least of these? How many times have I been awoken to the horrors and tragedy of the world, only to hit snooze on my convicted heart and roll back over into apathy? Just as snooze buttons continue the last few moments of good nighttime dreams, our spiritual snooze buttons continue the moments of nightmare going on around us. Our snooze buttons can be a comfort in this tiresome life, but we cannot let it become an excuse to ignore the calling Jesus continues to give us each day: to spread his love to a hurting world.