How To Pay Attention To The Alarms Of Life

From time to time I will publish old blog posts. This is a repost of an article I posted back in November 2013

Alarms go off around us all the time. Some are not that noticeable, others are unmistakable.

The other day, Lily bought a new alarm clock. She wanted something a little more modern, a little smaller, a little more stylish. My question is, do you want the alarm clock to wake you up? If so, what the alarm sounds like is the first concern.

Lil’s new alarm does a couple of things to wake you up. It glows in changing colours when the alarm goes off. And believe me, the glow is pretty bright. It cycles through several colours.

You may wonder how I know this. Well, the other day, rather than getting up out of bed to read the Bible and do my devotions, I decided to do them in bed.

There I was sitting up in bed with my iPad, hoping the glow from it would not wake Lily. I shouldn’t have worried. When her alarm went off, I waited for her to click it off but nothing happened. She didn’t move, and for two minutes I watched the light change colour to green then amber then blue … etc.

There was an audible alarm that went off as well, but it wasn’t a loud noise. This alarm has sounds, and the sound Lil picked was a babbling brook. Other than the fact that I felt like I needed to go to the washroom, it was a very nice sound.

… It didn’t wake Lily, but it was soothing. This two minute routine happened three times over the next 20 minutes until I gently woke her up by saying, “You need a new alarm clock.”

She immediately thought it had not gone off. But I assured her it had gone off three times with her face basking in the glow of the alarm’s changing light each time.

It doesn’t matter how nice an alarm clock looks, or what kind of features it has, an alarm clock – to be worth anything – has to wake you up!  If it doesn’t, it’s no good.

Personally, my alarm has to be loud enough and annoying enough to wake me up. Over the years that’s not always been enough for me. I’ve had to put the alarm far from my reach so I had to almost get out of bed to shut it off.

I could never use the snooze button either or I’d keep hitting it for hours. I have to get right up. No music for me; I would enjoy it too much in my half woken daze and just stay in bed.

No, for me an alarm has to startle me, rattle me, make me jump … like the security alarm we have at work. When I’ve mistakenly set it off, it blasts so loud your heart jumps out of your body, your heart dings a bell in your head, and your pacemaker restarts itself. It’s frightening.

Lily either needs to turn up the sound on the babbling brook alarm clock so that it’s a crashing wave sound, or look for an alarm that will do what it’s supposed to do … wake her up.

Here’s the thing: God often uses alarms to get our attention. Sometimes the alarm doesn’t start out to be very loud and we don’t hear it. Then, when it becomes a little annoying, we are tempted to hit the snooze button. But don’t hit snooze; rather, listen intently to God’s alarms.  React to the alarm by getting up and following what the Lord wants you to do.

That’s Life!

Paul

Question: What kind of an alarm do you need to wake up to? Leave your comment below.

How To Pay Attention To The Alarms Of Life

Alarms go off around us all the time. Some are not that noticeable, others are unmistakable.

The other day, Lily bought a new alarm clock. She wanted something a little more modern, a little smaller, a little more stylish. My question is, do you want the alarm clock to wake you up? If so, what the alarm sounds like is the first concern.

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Lil’s new alarm does a couple of things to wake you up. It glows in changing colours when the alarm goes off. And believe me, the glow is pretty bright. It cycles through several colours.

You may wonder how I know this. Well, the other day, rather than getting up out of bed to read the Bible and do my devotions, I decided to do them in bed.

There I was sitting up in bed with my iPad, hoping the glow from it would not wake Lily. I shouldn’t have worried. When her alarm went off, I waited for her to click it off but nothing happened. She didn’t move, and for two minutes I watched the light change colour to green then amber then blue … etc.

There was an audible alarm that went off as well, but it wasn’t a loud noise. This alarm has sounds, and the sound Lil picked was a babbling brook. Other than the fact that I felt like I needed to go to the washroom, it was a very nice sound.

… It didn’t wake Lily, but it was soothing. This two minute routine happened three times over the next 20 minutes until I gently woke her up by saying, “You need a new alarm clock.”

She immediately thought it had not gone off. But I assured her it had gone off three times with her face basking in the glow of the alarm’s changing light each time.

It doesn’t matter how nice an alarm clock looks, or what kind of features it has, an alarm clock – to be worth anything – has to wake you up!  If it doesn’t, it’s no good.

Personally, my alarm has to be loud enough and annoying enough to wake me up. Over the years that’s not always been enough for me. I’ve had to put the alarm far from my reach so I had to almost get out of bed to shut it off.

I could never use the snooze button either or I’d keep hitting it for hours. I have to get right up. No music for me; I would enjoy it too much in my half woken daze and just stay in bed.

No, for me an alarm has to startle me, rattle me, make me jump … like the security alarm we have at work. When I’ve mistakenly set it off, it blasts so loud your heart jumps out of your body, your heart dings a bell in your head, and your pacemaker restarts itself. It’s frightening.

Lily either needs to turn up the sound on the babbling brook alarm clock so that it’s a crashing wave sound, or look for an alarm that will do what it’s supposed to do … wake her up.

Here’s the thing: God often uses alarms to get our attention. Sometimes the alarm doesn’t start out to be very loud and we don’t hear it. Then, when it becomes a little annoying, we are tempted to hit the snooze button. But don’t hit snooze; rather, listen intently to God’s alarms.  React to the alarm by getting up and following what the Lord wants you to do.

That’s Life!

Paul

Question: What kind of an alarm do you need to wake up to? Leave your comment below.

King of the Hill

It’s not often that I gawk at an accident. In fact, I purposely try not to slow down too much when I pass one, because it bugs me when people hold up traffic trying to rubber neck and get a good peak at the wreckage.

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But the other day, I was cruising through a parking lot and came across an interesting sight. I chuckled to myself when I saw it, but per my conviction, I kept driving past. Then  I thought, “This is too good to pass up!” so I turned around and parked the car.

This blue SUV was hung up on a mountain of snow. I was already laughing when I got out of the car and started to walk over with my iPhone. I had no intention of calling for help; I wanted a picture!  Do you know how hard it is to get a good picture when you’re laughing?

As I was getting the vehicle in my cross hairs, the woman who was driving the SUV saw me and blurted out, “Oh no! You’re not going to put this on YouTube, are you?” She was embarrassed, which just made me laugh harder, and for a moment I thought I should be taking video rather than still shots.

I circled the site and I wondered how in the world she could have gotten her car on that pile of snow. There was no snow around in any direction. It was the only snow mountain in the parking lot and she found it!  Maybe she wanted to conquer it … which she sort of did.

When I was a kid we used to play “king of the hill” on the huge snow pile the snowplow pushed into the middle of our cul-de-sac. It was always the big guys that could stay up on top the longest. This vehicle was on top and it was staying there, so I guess she won.

I think if she had have called a dealership they may have given her some money for leaving the car there. It looked like it was on one of those fake bolder structures you see at car dealerships. It would create some attention.

After taking 3 or 4 pictures, I had to know how or why she did this. She told me she turned her head to look at a parking spot and drove right up the mountain. But why not stop when you feel the resistance? Or better yet, when you turn down the row, look what’s ahead before looking for a parking spot!

My theory – and it’s only a theory – is that when she hit the snow, she thought, “I can get over this”, and stepped on the gas. It was, after all, a SUV: Sports Utility Vehicle. Don’t they make them for rough and rugged terrain, and … for climbing up snow mountains?

When I left the scene, the tow truck was on its way. About 20 minutes later, I drove by that parking lot again and noticed the snow was still there, but the vehicle was gone, and that woman was no longer king of the hill.

Here’s the thing: There are obstacles we have to deal with in life only because we didn’t pay attention to God warning us to stop, or go around them. If we learn to listen to and heed His guidance, we can avoid some of the mountains we face.

That’s Life!

Paul

Question:  What obstacles have you avoided because you paid attention? Leave your comment below.