Monday, April 19, 2010

Of snooze buttons and other immoral things

There was a time in my life when I was adamantly opposed to snooze buttons. I sprang from bed each morning, alert and awake, ready to face the day. This continued through my college days (although I'll admit that there were many mornings when I rolled out of bed rather than sprang from it). Many of my friends enjoyed the snooze button. They would set their alarm to go off a long while before they actually had to get up, sometimes as much as an hour before. And then every 9 minutes they would hit that stupid button. I never understood it. "What does that extra 9 minutes really do for you?", I would ask. And then I got married. And I discovered, to my horror, that my wife was an advocate of the snooze button. I could never wrap my head around the logic of waking up, hitting the button, sleeping for a few minutes more, then hearing that stupid alarm again only to...wait for it...hit the button again. And then one day, for reasons I can't quite explain, I hit the snooze button; and I became that which I once despised.

Now in my defense, I don't hit the snooze button every morning. In fact, I don't hit a 'snooze' button at all. My phone is my alarm clock, but that's beside the point. Even though I'm now a user of the snooze button, I still don't understand why. What does that 9 minutes of extra sleep really do, other than make it that much harder for me to get out of bed? After several hours of sleep, is several minutes more going to matter? Has anyone ever said, "Boy, I was still so sleep when my alarm went off, but after I snoozed a couple times, I was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed!"? (on a completely unrelated note, what does it mean to be "bushy-tailed" in the mornings? that sounds to me like something you would want to avoid at all costs. but i digress). The point is, that extra few minutes isn't helping anything. In fact, it's only making me put off what I need to do-get out of bed and get started on my day. I think the only reason we hit that button is that it gives us the illusion of more rest. Those 9 minutes aren't really going to do us any good; but we think we need it. And so we hit that button.

Now that's the reason for this rambling, incoherent post? Good question. Thinking about the logical fallacy that is the snooze button got me thinking about sin. See, sin is a lot like the snooze button. I know that I should avoid it at all costs. The Bible says the wages of sin is death. And even though I'm a follower of Christ, even though my sins have been forgiven and I don't have to face the eternal consequence for them, I'm still faced with the temporal consequences. And I know this. Intellectually, I know and acknowledge the fact that sin is dangerous; that it displeases my King, it injures my testimony, and it is ruinious to my life. But there are still times when I convince myself that I need it. There are times when I think I've got to have whatever it is that the flesh is pining for. And just like I know that hitting the snooze button will offer no benefit, but I do it anyway-I know that sin will benefit me nothing; but I engage in it anyway.

Hebrews 11:25 refers to the 'passing pleasures of sin', i.e., sin is enjoyable-for a season. When we indulge the flesh, it is pleasurable-for a time. Just like when we hit the snooze button, roll over and burrow back under the covers, that's a nice feeling; but it doesn't last. And the fact remains that I've still got to get up. In the very same way, sin is lots of fun-for a little while. But the fact remains that the wages of sin is death; and when I embrace wickedness rather than holiness, I invite the consequences for that sin on my life. One of the most important lessons every Christ-follower must learn is that the passing pleasures of sin aren't worth the consequences for our sin. Our sin, no matter how much the flesh may enjoy it and revel in it, only drags us down. It brings reproach on the name of our Great King. It brings guilt and shame. It is ruinous for our lives. Though it is certainly pleasurable, that pleasure is passing-it won't last. But God offers us joy and fulfillment that lasts forever. Psalm 16:11, "In Your presence is fullness of joy, at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore." Now which makes more sense, pleasures that pass away and lead to ruin, or fullness of joy and pleasures that last forever?
So, got any spiritual snooze buttons in your life? The pleasure they offer is temporary; don't be deceived by them. Let's pray for one another, that we can get rid of them; that we'll arise from sleep, that we'll wake up to the holy life Christ has called us to-and that we'll embrace the eternal pleasures of Jesus rather than the passing pleasures of sin.

Father, thank You for grace. Thank You for being patient with me, and for not giving me what my sinfulness has earned. Thank You for clothing me in the righteousness of Jesus. Forgive my sins, help me to hate sin as You do. Help me to run from it, and run to You. Help me to cast aside everything that slows me down, and the sin that so easily entangles me, and help me run with perseverance the race You've set out for me. And help me to do this for Your honor and for Your glory. Amen.

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