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When You Least Expect It

Nobody got much sleep in the Sanders house last night, not after 4:00 A.M. anyway. That’s when the screeching began.

An extremely light sleeper, I was the first one to wake up with a jolt. At first, I thought it was Chico, our Chihuahua, wanting out of his carrier a few hours ahead of schedule. Lucky for him, it wasn’t!

Disoriented and achy from lack of sleep, I frowned and listened as Todd slept on, his breathing easy and deep.


Fully awake now and irritated about it, I realized that the piercing tone was the warning beep of a smoke alarm with an almost-dead battery, though I couldn’t tell which one. Without hesitation, I shook my sleeping hubby, who had not replaced the smoke alarm batteries at the six-month mark like he was supposed to. It seemed only right.

Splitting up, we stood under each smoke detector in turn and waited for the beeps, which came minutes apart. It was a slow, maddening process. The last one we checked, the one inside Hunter’s bedroom, was the one complaining.

We yanked it from the ceiling, waking Hunter up in the process, and then lay in bed for an hour waiting for the alarm clock to go off.

It did. Just as I was drifting off.

But, I’ve had my coffee now, and I’m better. I know I could’ve changed those batteries as easily as Todd. In fact, I thought about it over Christmas break, but didn’t do it. I didn’t see the need. Nothing was beeping at me yet. You understand. When something that is supposed to happen doesn’t happen, you start to think it never will.

For instance, as Christians, we’re supposed to be looking for and preparing for Christ’s return. Why don’t we? I think we’ve been lulled into a false sense of permanence, thinking of this world as our home just because that’s where we’ve been spending our time. Jesus hasn’t come back yet, so we don’t really think it will happen in our lifetime.

It could, though.

In fact, Jesus could come back today. The part of me that wants to get to Heaven faster gets excited at the thought, but the rest of me panics. I guess, by human standards, I do alright, but I am ashamed, really, at how little I would have to show for my time here on earth if Jesus should return today.

Now that I think about it, though I’m still frustrated about waking up to the piercing beep of the smoke detector, I’m glad it wasn’t a trumpet blast.

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