Turn The %#$& Thing Off!

My Alarm Clock It was the Christmas of 1986; I was twelve years old. Aimee, Joel and I all opened our identical individually wrapped presents at the same time. I was old enough to know that when this happened it meant we were all getting the same thing, “But what could it be?” I thought excitedly. And though I would have never guessed, I wasn’t disappointed.

I loved my alarm clock! It was cool white plastic, high tech small, and science fiction digital! State of the art! Although my new bike topped the gift list that year, the alarm clock was a close second. Yes, it was a good Christmas.

That alarm clock woke me for middle school, high school, and college. It cheered me on for 5 am hockey practices, and 6 am construction jobs. It woke me for international trips and fun days at amusement parks. It was a faithful companion long before I knew Karen. And after I got married it came with me, its steady rhythms waking me countless mornings.

Twenty-five years later the bike is long gone, but that amazing white digital alarm clock is still with me. To this day, it sits on my nightstand, its red numbers twinkling. Some of my best memories have been made with the help of my alarm clock. It’s hard to believe that strong loyal reliable friend has been ringing in my ears for a quarter century.

I hate my alarm clock. For twenty-five years that damn thing has buzzed in my ear forcing me to abandon the sweetness of sleep. The noxious arrogance of the vile sound assaults my spirit with its graceless existence. Its grating tone; like the sound of a thousand crying babies. It’s soulless wailing cementing exhaustion into my very bones.

When it begins its blathering I cant turn it off quick enough! There are mornings where I wake one minute before it goes off and thank all that is holy I escaped the sound. Over the years I have heard it on a TV show or movie and found my mood darkened instantly. I don’t know if there is any sound more annoying than that of my alarm clock.

So I respect my alarm clock, but mostly, I hate it.

The News

I use my alarm clock to wake up, but I turn it off once I’m awake. If I didn’t, I would kill someone before breakfast. If at all possible I avoid it, it’s a last line of defense, a worse case scenario.

While we are on the subject of alarms, I also have a grudging respect for fire alarms... until I’m standing under the one in our hallway fanning it with a pillow I’ve snatched off the couch because we forgot the garlic bread again. Then I find them sickeningly obnoxious.

Alarms, mostly, I hate them.

While I'm on the subject...

The news, mostly, I hate it too.

I can’t watch it for more than a few minutes. Sometimes, even the commercials that run during “The Office” can mess me up. It’s the crimes reported that get me the most, the news about what one human did to another. Sometimes the reports or statistics regarding the horrible state of our economy can be disturbing as well. It can stay with me for hours, days, if I let it.

I feel the same way about most talk radio. I can only listen for a while, then I need a break.

Its not that I don’t want to be informed, its just that in my opinion, the news seems mostly to be a mouthpiece for what the enemy is doing on the earth today, a platform for spotlighting and amplifying his achievements. It’s like the newscasters sit there and say, “hey look at what He did here, and did you hear about what he did yesterday?”

To me, the news is often a megaphone for an inferior reality. Its as if they are saying, “Be afraid little grasshoppers.”

Yeah, grasshoppers… 

Grasshoppers

The headline was brilliant, journalism at its finest, “We Are But Grasshoppers in Their Sight!” it read.  And ten out of the twelve investigative reporters agreed, this was the best angle for the story.

Moses had sent spies into the land promised by God – twelve investigative reporters. They all returned. Like every good reporter, these men lived for the moment they could give personal commentary.

“The land flowed with milk and honey,” they all said. It was lush and beautiful and an all around wonderful place to live. In this they were all in agreement… However, the report didn’t end there. The spies let Moses know that there were rather large people that lived in the land and these people would probably try to kill anyone who attempted to take it.

Now ten of the twelve spies went on to focus their report on the size of the lands inhabitants. “They are giants,” they said. And with this reality as the cornerstone of their report, the consensus was that the land was unconquerable.

However, there were two spies who understood that the land was their inheritance. They saw the land from Heavens perspective - a superior revelation - and their commentary reflected it. While they acknowledged the giants, their focus was on the size of their God. “We can take this land” they said.

I would like to suggest that there is no such thing as unbiased reporting. I would also like to suggest that the bias is very important.

There were two ways to report on the Promised Land, from mans perspective or Gods. There are two ways to see our lives, from mans perspective or Gods. These are always the two perspectives we must choose from when it comes to life.

And in life, we know we are influenced by an inferior reality if fear dictates how we act regarding the giants that posses our promise. We know we are influenced by an inferior reality if fear seems like wisdom. The eight spies, they where operating from an inferior bias.

There was devastation power in their untrue commentary “we are but grasshoppers.” It turned the beautiful miracle of manna into nothing more than welfare and produced a generation of manna eating survivors. While manna was Gods idea, and like all Gods ideas, it was a good one, He never intended it to become a way of life.

Those ten spies kept an entire generation from their promise. They condemned their people, their fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, to a wilderness existence. They commentated from an inferior reality, they missed the truth, and in so doing, neutered their people and limited an entire generations impact on the world. The Kingdom was not expanded in their lifetime.

Turn The Damn Thing Off

I’d like to propose that the news we often get these days is being reported and commentated on by those ten spies. If you listen closely, you will hear the newscaster say it, “We are but grasshoppers."

Wen it comes to where we get our news, we must seek heavens perspective…

If you are getting your information from the ten fearful “grasshopper” spies, find a new source. If when you are finished listening to commentary, you feel inadequate, fearful, or overwhelmed, find a new source. If after you’ve spent time with a friend, you feel insecure and hopeless, find a new source. If after you hear preaching, you feel shame or condemnation, find a new source.

What I am trying to say is, turn the damn thing off. Its one thing to be aware of the fact that there are giants but not one of us has to believe the lie that tells us we are but grasshoppers.

Jesus said when you pray say, “Thy Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.” We are called to seek and live from heavens perspective. We are free to know and become intimate with our heavenly Father that we might know His love and see ourselves, and the world we live in, through His eyes.

How do we know when we are living from His perspective? We hope, we dream, we envision, we give, we risk. You see, from heavens perspective, we are the giants.

The fact is, we all provide commentary, whether it’s at the office, at home, with our kids, or from a pulpit. Personally, I want to be with the spies who got it right, the fella’s that understood who God was and the nature of their call – to expand the Kingdom, to establish heaven on earth.

I want to be the kind of believer that reports from heavens perspective; a son that knows and is absolutely sure in his Heavenly Father’s always-good love. I want to run with the saints who believe that all impossibilities are possible with Him. I want to be a hope bringer who commentates in the power of the resurrection.

Jesus commissioned, “As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.”

What’s that mean? It means we are not grasshoppers; we are giants with all the authority and power of an open heaven.  Don’t let your heart be troubled by the alarm clock, His Kingdom is near, its at hand!