A Travel Guide for Life, Faith, and Relationships!
I know they save lives. I know the law requires them. I also know I’m supposed to change the batteries in them once a year.
But at 4:07 AM a few days ago, I was rudely startled from a deep sleep and a pleasant dream when a smoke alarm in my house started to beep. Loudly. Incessantly. Ruthlessly. And of course, it was the one about 1,000 feet up (give or take) at the top of a vaulted ceiling in my great room.
I was so surprised that I jumped out of bed faster than you can say Engelbert Humperdinck! (If you’re too young to know who that is, then here’s a link.)
Anyhow. Two nanoseconds later I knew the house wasn’t on fire, but I was wide awake, and there was nothing I could do but curse the day Francis Robbins Upton created these occasionally annoying things called smoke alarms. (BTW, please don’t email me about the time your Uncle Bob and his family had their entire home and lives saved by a smoke detector. Like I said, I know they save lives, but I’m too irritated right now to listen.)
After getting some clothes on, I did what any relatively sane person would do: I made a strong cup of java. I also started thinking, which was surprising for me at 4:30 AM.
What other alarms might be going off in my life that I need to pay better attention to?
For example, I recently had a physical. The doc told me he was a little concerned about a couple of things (mostly related to my weight, my cholesterol, and my blood pressure.) I’m not off the charts in trouble yet, or a walking time bomb, but I’m not the young buck I used to be either.
Honestly, I blew him off a bit. “Everybody dies of something,” I thought, “but at least I’ll die happy eating pizza and ice cream.”
But it’s probably not a good idea to ignore this “alarm” from my doctor.
Here’s another alarm I’m facing—it’s an emotional one—and it has to do with the condition of my soul. I’ve noticed I’m starting to go from weary to wrecked. In my life, that means I’m operating on fumes, which too often finds me fuming over something and reacting rather than responding.
For the record, it’s okay to be weary. Working hard and getting tired isn’t the problem. The great Apostle Paul was exhausted at times.
However, weariness becomes a serious issue when it leads to burnout because we haven’t made the time to refuel. Even Jesus needed times alone to replenish His soul.
When the emotional alarm goes off in your soul, it’s time to do something that fills you up.
Another alarm that I’m aware of is what I call the spiritually bored alarm. This siren of sorts isn’t always that loud, but it is a clear signal to me that something is off. When I get bored, I get into trouble. When I get bored, I stop caring about people. When I get bored, I tend to drift to hard-heartedness and apathy.
So, whether they are signaling a physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual issue, it’s always best to pay attention to the alarms in your life. They are simple yet powerful reminders that something needs to change. As with the battery in my smoke detector, my being fully charged and functional is always wisest and best.
We can ignore the alarms and suffer, or we can heed them and change. One choice leads to trouble; the other leads to health and life.
Please choose life, and listen to the alarms in your heart, mind, soul, and body.
Okay, gotta run; I need to change a battery or two, and a few other more important things.
How about you?
“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart.
And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give.
So don’t be troubled or afraid.
John 14:27 (NLT)