When the alarm went off, it looked like a comedy skit from the Three Stooges. I heard thuds in several rooms, followed by racing steps from all directions headed toward the only bathroom on the first floor. The first alert was the alarm clock on the telephone, or telephones I should say. Since everybody carried their phone to their rooms, they also set their own alarms. These alert were followed by tonal sounds and soft words from Alexa, the now-famous automated home assistant. By the time I reached down stairs, the other home assistant was playing the same tonal message, and I was laughing at how many alerts we’d set. One thing was certain; we intended to get up on time and not oversleep. We set every alert we cold to make sure. A trip to the airport and an early morning flight was all that stood between us and a long anticipated vacation.
Long before the the alarm clock or artificial intelligence, the scripture points us to the value of alertness. In Mark 13:37, Christ says, “What I say to you, I say to all. Be on the alert.” He knew the need for being watchful. Further into the New Testament, 1 Peter 5:8 instructs, “Be of sober spirit; be on the alert. For your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking to devour someone.”
That morning when we were listening for the alerts so we could make our flight, we knew the consequences wouldn’t be good if we didn’t. The alerts did the job. We didn’t hit snooze and sleep 5 more minutes; we acted. Isn’t that also what we know from scripture? With the devil on the prowl, we need always to be alert and on guard. Not only do we need to be on alert, we have to react to that prompting.
Don’t let our adversary, the devil, catch you unaware. Listen to your heart with the same attention, intensity, and intentionality as you listen for your phone or your alarm clock or whatever alert you use. God’s alert is our call to action.