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Bad Timing

June 18, 2012

The digital clock on my nightstand reinforced the ridiculous hour for this activity. 2:48 AM was staring back in my face in bold red numerals. Why at 2:48 AM? Can’t a smoke detector battery die at 6:34 PM or 10:02 AM? Why does it seem like these are always middle of the night emergencies?

Now those of you who really have it together are feeling a little bit smug that you always change your smoke detector batteries on a schedule and thus are never up at 2:48 AM tending to the task. Stick with me for a slightly different application…

As I was heading bleary eyed down the stairs to the battery drawer, I kept thinking about why now? And do I really have to do this? Then it hit me, this is a minor inconvenience to keep my home safe. How often do we hear about home fires, often with tragic results, where the reporter says, “The home had no working smoke detectors?” What would that home owner or victim do to have the privilege of changing a smoke detector battery at 2:48 AM?

In reality, the 10 minute interruption in one night’s sleep was a small sacrifice for a major safety improvement. If I am honest, I find myself with a similar attitude toward my faith. It feels like God can pick the most inconvenient times to ask me to exercise a little compassion, discipline, or effort. So much I would rather do, why this and why now? But if I stop and think, all of those small ‘interruptions’ are developing a much healthier soul. I don’t have to do any of it, but one day, there will be a ‘fire’ in my life and if I have not heeded those 2:48 AM warnings, I’ll wish I had.

If you ever find yourself resenting some duty you are performing, think of the greater good you are building, whether for others or for yourself. You may find it more of a momentary inconvenience than a total waste of time.

One Comment leave one →
  1. June 18, 2012 10:12 AM

    Super timely post. Yesterday I was working on a sermon I’m giving on July 1 and the lectionary text I’m using is Mark 5:21-43 when Jesus gets interrupted on his way to healing Jairus’ daughter. I’m calling it “Jesus Interrupted.” I’m finding these life interruptions and detours are helping me develop healthier patterns in sabbath, self-care and spiritual discipline though they don’t always appear formational at the time.

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