I’m not exaggerating when I say that I wake up to the world’s scariest alarm. Every weekday at a quarter to six, my phone explodes into a mess of Screaming music that rattles me out of bed. This morning was different; Haste the Day didn’t jolt me from my slumber- my phone was turned off. Blasting light from the sun didn’t wake me up, either- I had pulled the curtains shut.
I was determined to sleep in.
Some friends and I were going to hang out, but we hadn’t set a time or destination yet, so I knew I had an occasion for much needed rest. It was almost noon when my eyes cracked open for the first time. My neck and back popped as I yawned, and stretched my arms over my head. I guess it was time to get up. I rolled out of bed, grabbed a shirt and shorts, then meandered out to the kitchen where I started a pot of coffee. Still less than awake, I shuffled from the kitchen to the living room and couch where I’d tumble over and wait for the coffee maker to beep at me. I was still so tired, I could probably close my eyes and listen for the coffee pot. At least, I though I would be able to.
It was only one-thirty when I opened my eyes this time. Neither the beeping of the coffee pot, nor the aroma of fresh, black coffee was sufficient to keep my brain awake, but now I definitely was good to go. With more purpose and energy from before, I bounced off the couch, downed a cup of joe, and hopped in the shower. From there, I dried off, donned some shorts and a t-shirt, rubbed some product through my hair, and was ready to go.
I grabbed another cup of coffee, a book, sat down at the coffee table and resumed my exploration of Aldous Huxley’s Island. Between pages, I wondered what my friends and I were going to do later, but didn’t think enough of it to check my phone at all.
I got lost in Will Farnaby’s exploits and forgot about my own. I didn’t give heed to hunger as it approached, didn’t look up to a clock to realize that those pages and chapters had captured minutes and hours and my day had unfolded in a fictional character’s story, rather than my own. It wasn’t until the evening that I realized I had never turned my phone on. I actually never moved it from my desk where it had charged all night!
I laughed at myself with mild regret as I turned it on and saw that I had more than a few missed calls. A sense of foolishness came over me as I listened to voicemails of my buddies inquiring as to my whereabouts and complete silence throughout the day. One returned call revealed that they had gone to dinner and a movie, grabbed ice cream and went for a walk downtown. I had missed out on the whole thing.
Perhaps a day with a book was a good thing for me, but because I wasn’t intentional enough, never grabbed my best means of communication, a wonderful opportunity passed by. I traded an opportunity for great memories for a pretty decent story.
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From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven
violent men take it by force.
The other popular interpretation of this verse is that we need to get off our butts and pursue God’s kingdom. Be violent in your approach to your spiritual life and anything God puts before you to maximize your effect in God’s Kingdom. If you don’t have intention and purpose, only God knows what you’ll miss out on!
Which interpretation do you think works best? Is there a middle-ground where we can find some balance? It seems that your idea of what God’s kingdom is carries a lot of weight with this verse. Let me know what you think!