Time to Wake Up!
Published 10:01 am Wednesday, June 1, 2022
I have always been aware that our grandchildren pay careful attention to what I say and I do, and I got a fresh reminder of that fact last week. One of our grandchildren told her mother: “Papa always drives the speed limit—but I caught him going two miles over.” Addy never mentioned the alleged infraction to me, but she apparently observed it with her own eyes. I am not sure if she was disappointed with me or pleased that she caught me in a shortcoming—perhaps she’s saving that one to bring up to defend herself when I call her hand on some wrongdoing. Regardless of that, it is a reminder of how important it is to stay alert, always striving with God’s help to conduct ourselves with integrity.
In Romans 13:11 we are urged to stay awake spiritually: “And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed” (New International Version). The writer–the apostle Paul–has in view the promised return of the Lord and the urgency to be spiritually aware and prepared. He went on to warn in the next verse that “The night is nearly over; the day is almost here.”
When we are sleeping we are unaware of our surroundings, but the night does not last forever and the day comes when we must rise up. I grew up with three sisters and one brother. When I think back about all that was required of our mother to get us all off to school, I realize that it was indeed a difficult job. One of the most challenging parts was getting everyone of us to wake up and get moving. I do not sleep very well most nights now, but I remember back in my teenage days when a hurricane couldn’t have easily awakened me. Thankfully we usually managed to get ourselves going in time for the bus, but there were a few occasions when we overslept. We would move from slumber to high gear in order to make it and if we weren’t at the road when the bus arrived the driver would blow the horn a few times and then move on.
Another thing that I remember about having to wake up when day came was the dreaded sound of that alarm clock. But there was a remedy for that: the snooze button. By hitting the snooze button I was granted a little more time of rest. However, if I took advantage of the snooze feature several times it would put me farther behind and reduce the chances of me being ready to leave on time. There is no spiritual snooze button that we can use to delay the great day when the Lord returns; we cannot afford to allow spiritual slumber to hinder our walk with God, for He has called us to live in spiritual alertness and readiness.
Just as we dress ourselves when we get out of bed and enter into the day, Romans 13 instructs us to spiritually take off some things and put on others. In verse 12 we are given this directive: “So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.” The deeds of darkness are those things that are displeasing to the Lord and they have no place in the life of those who wish to be found pleasing to God. We are to take off those ways of darkness and put on the light. That light is not obtained by our deserving or earning it, but is received through faith in Jesus Christ.
Remember that there is no snooze button to hit to delay the time of the Lord’s return so we can continue in spiritual slumber. When He proclaims the night is over that day will come. Let’s remain ready, alert and faithful until then. And if you have an eleven year old girl in the car, watch your speed—she is probably watching!