I was just outside with the dog. I love being out there at this time of day, as the sun is just starting to peak up over the horizon, and the sky is soft pink and purple. There’s a special quality to everything; it’s sweet and cool(ish) and fresh. It’s also loud in a National Geographic sort of way.

The birds are in full chorus, dogs and cattle are barking and mooing their good mornings to passersby, the horses (ours and others, far-flung) are beginning to nicker and neigh, and, of course, the nearby rooster is taking his job seriously, stirring all the aforementioned into action.

That rooster works hard. He not only crows all morning, no; he’s been known to crow in the afternoon, just about the time that you’re hitting your afternoon slump. I’ve even heard him make a little noise in the evening, but not too late, because, well, that wouldn’t be in keeping with the rules of the job.

I’m actually really glad that he lives a couple of houses away, because the quality of the rooster’s cock-a-doodle-do is very similar to my first digital alarm clock that I got for a high school graduation gift and took off to college. That thing was not a clock radio, so it didn’t have the option for music to gently ease you into wakefulness; it only had one option for an alarm sound: a very loud, angry buzz. That clock was SERIOUS about getting its charge up and out of the bed, and, with me, it did what it came to do. I FLEW out of my little dorm room bed, heart about to pound out of my chest, to turn it off as soon as possible. Oh, how I hated it, and wished for something just a little kinder.

You know, we are supposed to be alarm clocks in this life. We were given a charge to go into the world (which also means actually operate in your own small part of it), and help wake other people up. There are a lot of fellow humans out there who don’t have a clue that God loves them and made a plan for Jesus to die for them. Not a clue. God put that plan together so that no one would perish under the weight of their own sin, but there will come a time when this world passes away and a new, eternal one ushers in. The time clock is running out, and we need to wake people up to the knowledge of it.

We’ve all seen the corner “preachers,” the radicals with their signs threatening people with end of the world scare tactics. While this approach certainly gets people’s attention, it goes about doing it like the rooster or that old alarm clock. It screams and buzzes until you submit, but does it really make living the life they’re touting sound appealing?

I’m thinking the most effective way we can go about fulfilling our purpose as alarm clocks is to become that kinder radio alarm clock I longed for in college. Maybe if we love people to the point that they want to know what’s different in our lives, they’ll be drawn into wakefulness, instead of wanting to slap our off-button and throw us out the window.

Maybe they’ll want to become alarm clocks themselves.

Sun’s all the way up. I don’t hear the rooster anymore, so I’d better get moving. You know, places to go…people to love.


“And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.” Mark 16:15 NLT

Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.” John 13:34-35 MSG

““For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 ESV

Don’t overlook the obvious here, friends. With God, one day is as good as a thousand years, a thousand years as a day. God isn’t late with his promise as some measure lateness. He is restraining himself on account of you, holding back the End because he doesn’t want anyone lost. He’s giving everyone space and time to change.” 2 Peter 3:9 MSG