It was one of the most unpleasant wake-up experiences ever. OK, I’ll admit it was partially my fault… I had worked late the previous night, and overslept my alarm. That left my feisty-but-punctual 10-year old son with little choice but to wake me himself, or risk a tardy mark on his school record. So as I moved into my second term on “snooze,” he quietly crept to the edge of the bed and stationed his wide open mouth right next to my nose. Then, in the manner in which you might warm your clenched hands by breathing into them on a cold day, he began slowly exhaling hot breath directly into my nasal cavity. HHhhhhhhhhuuuuuuuuuuhhhhh… I wrinkled my nose repulsively while still in a subconscious state… HHhhhhhhhhuuuuuuuuuuhhhhh… in a startled haze, I abruptly jumped sideways at the same instant I awoke.
“David!! Why on earth would you do something like that?!” I protested as my senses returned. He just scampered gleefully out of the room and chirped, ”It worked, didn’t it?!” Groan…
Is there anyone who likes waking up? I mean, even morning-people don’t particularly enjoy hearing the dreaded first bleeps from their alarm. We all make attempts to brighten the mood for this dark moment of each day. Waking to the fragrance of fresh coffee works for some, while others may enjoy listening to their favorite music or radio personality as their morning fog slowly clears.
Well, just as we all need to be awakened from sleep each morning, there are many people in this world who desperately need a spiritual awakening. Ss faithful believers, are we doing our part to sound an alarm for them? If so, how are we going about it? Are we being sensitive to these sleepers – gently waking them, like the scent from a programmable coffee pot, or a clock with a fade-in alarm? Or are we blowing unpleasant hot air at them?
Going down a legalistic list of “ dos and don’ts,” or making obnoxious religious statements will surely be considered alarming, but they are definitely not pleasant or inviting wake-up calls. The sleeper will quickly hit “snooze,” or maybe even unplug the “clock” altogether!
As Christ interacted and shared meals with sinners, so we can gracefully show kindness and Christian love without ruffling feathers. Some people may need a louder alarm than others, but let’s remember that no one responds well to a rude awakening.
1 Peter 3:15 — In your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…
– Ron Reid