Friday, September 8, 2023

Hearing the Alarm - Martin Wiles

hearing the alarm
These people are hypocrites and liars, and their consciences are dead. 1 Timothy 4:2 NLT

Why I set one, I’m not sure. Hearing the alarm was something I never did.


Alarm clocks. I’ve had them all—from wind-up to battery-operated to electric. When I first bought an alarm clock or what kind it was, I don’t remember, but I do recall the wind-up one with two large bells on top. I bought that one because I loved hearing a clock tick, but I couldn’t handle the alarm. When it went off, I felt as if a fire alarm had erupted in my bedroom. When I found the cutoff switch, my heart galloped at racehorse speed.


Some of my electric alarm clocks have alarmed with almost as many decibels. One Christmas, my wife bought me what seemed like the perfect clock. I wanted one that tripled as an alarm clock/radio/CD player. This clock had two alarms, but the way the alarms sounded was wonderful. They didn’t start at full blast but began with a faint sound that grew louder until I finally turned it off. This woke me up gently instead of with heart-attack speed.


But my all-time favorite clock was the one my daughter gave me one Christmas. No radio. No CD. Just the time and a selection of sleeping sounds. Thunderstorms. Rivers. Campfires. This clock woke me up by chosen nature sounds as well. And its alarm also began softly and grew increasingly louder until I shut it off.


Funny thing though. I rarely heard the alarm because I usually woke up before it went off. As I have aged, I don’t sleep as well or as long. I now set my internal clock by telling myself what time I want to get up—and I wake up. No clock needed.

I suppose I could get so accustomed to the sound of my alarm clock that I wouldn’t even notice it when it alarmed. The same thing I do with my email and text sounds on my smartphone, which sits by my bed. I never hear the alerts or notifications at night. Getting accustomed to things is good . . . or bad.


Paul warned young Timothy that in the last times, people would turn away from the faith because their consciences were dead. They would no longer hear the alarm clock—God’s alarm clock, the little voice that speaks to our consciences when we go astray.


Not hearing God’s alarm system would be a terrible thing. I could do anything wrong I chose and never feel bad about it or never see any reason to do anything differently. I could walk wrong paths and keep walking them with a seared conscience. I could not care what others did either.


I’d rather hear the alarm. Doing so makes life better and keeps me on the right path. And I’d rather detect the alarm when it first sounds—not after it has blared for a while. By then, I would have continued in bad behavior, attitudes, or words, hurt others, and got accustomed to the wrong. God will blare if necessary, but hearing His soft voice is preferable.


Hearing God’s alarm when it first sounds takes effort—spiritual effort. When we keep ourselves familiar with His guiding principles and commands, we’ll hear the faintest sound of His alarm.


How can you do a better job of listening when God’s alarm goes off in your mind?


Father, thank You for Your alarm system that keeps me from harmful paths. 

Tweetable: Are you hearing God's alarm? 

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