Don’t get caught napping! challenge – 27 July 2017 – Advanced – Topic: Snooze

When I got an alarm clock with a Snooze button, I thought I was in heaven! Years earlier, my wind-up alarm would ring at 6:30am, to wake me for my paper round. I would hit the silence button and roll over. I just wanted a few more moments in my bed. Thirty minutes later, my dad would shake me awake and chase me out of the door to avoid being late. With my new gadget, I could hit the snooze button and be woken again 10 minutes later. No chance of oversleeping now!

In time, I realised I could repeat the process twice more and get an extra half hour of sleep. But with no parents to wake me, I would then have to scramble around to get washed, dressed and breakfasted, then run full pelt to the station. Hopefully, I would still arrive at work on time. If I failed, my boss would have something to say. Judicious timing meant that I never quite reached the point of being sacked from my post.

It reminds me of the story Jesus told about the 10 virgins preparing for a wedding. When the bridegroom didn’t show on time, five of them trimmed their lamps to save oil. The other five let their lamps burn out. Jesus doesn’t say so, but we assume they all went to sleep. In the middle of the night the cry went up, “He’s here! Get ready.” The first five girls were out of bed in a flash, their lamps rekindled and ready for the main event. The other five took their time responding, almost as if they had hit the snooze button. When they came to their senses they discovered their lamps were empty. By the time they’d got back from the nearest market stall with fresh oil, everyone was inside and the door barred against them. Jesus warned his hearers, “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.” (Matthew 25:13)

God calls each one of us to come to him in humility and repentance, to be forgiven and put right with him through Jesus’ death and resurrection. It’s easy to assume that there is plenty of time, that I don’t need to respond just yet; that’s like pushing the snooze button on the alarm clock. But as surely as there is a deadline for arriving at work, or a moment when the bridegroom will appear, God has appointed a time for us to meet him face to face. By then it will be too late to change your mind. Make sure that you don’t push the snooze button, but take the opportunity to respond to God’s invitation right now; then you really will be in heaven.

About prophetable

My wife Elizabeth and I were commissioned as Officers (ministers) in The Salvation Army in 1997, and have served in appointments in England and Scotland. Since July 2016 I have been working in The Salvation Army's Scotland Office as combined parliamentary and ecumenical representative.
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