"Sounding the Alarm "
July 7, 2017
Isaiah 30:21 - And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, "This is the way, walk in it," when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.
To the best of my knowledge, everybody has a conscience. You know, that little voice which God has given us to help us differentiate right from wrong. Recently, the news carried a story about a man, Jerry Lynn, who is exceptional because he has two consciences.
Well, actually, Lynn has one conscience and an alarm clock, which acts like a second conscience.
Lynn got that second conscience some 13 years ago. Let me tell you how it happened. He was wiring his home for cable TV and he wanted to run a wire on an inside wall. His only problem was where to drill the hole for the hookup. He came up with a brilliant solution: he tied a small battery-powered alarm clock to a cord and set the alarm to go off in 10 minutes, which was 6:50 p.m. Then he lowered the clock down the wall, between the studs.
Lynn figured that when the alarm went off, he would know exactly where to drill his hole.
The plan was a good one. It would have been a good one if the cord had been tied tighter. Before he heard the alarm, he heard another sound: a thunk. That thunk was the sound of the alarm clock coming free of the cord and falling to an unrecoverable place in the wall. As planned, the alarm went off at 6:50 p.m. and, like a conscience, reminded Lynn that he had tied a bad knot.
Every day for the last 13 years that alarm clock, like a conscience, has reminded Lynn of his mistake.
But there's a problem. Even though that clock, with its super battery, is still sending out daily reminders, Lynn and his family don't hear them. Now a guest in their house will still be shocked by the 6:50 p.m. alarm when it comes through the wall with its progressively louder beep, beep, beep.
But Lynn and his family no longer hear that alarm.
They don't hear it because they have grown accustomed to the abrasive sound. Over the years, ever so slowly, their minds have tuned out the alarm. Now, for them, it simply doesn't exist.
I have seen the same thing happen to others. You probably have, too.
At one time their conscience told them they were doing something wrong. Initially, that voice was loud and it was clear. Unfortunately, the person to whom that conscience was sending a message chose not to listen. Not listening was hard to do at first, but it got easier as time went on.
Today they no longer hear what God wants them to hear.
You know, my friends, God's Son, our Savior, entered this world to carry our sins, win our forgiveness, and grant us eternal life. When the Holy Spirit brings about faith in our hearts we ought to be changed; we ought to live our lives rejecting sin and honoring the Savior.
To do that we need a good, healthy conscience ... and we need to listen to it, too.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, we often consider a conscience to be a nuisance when it keeps us from doing what we want. Forgive us for those moments and grant us a conscience that condemns what You condemn and blesses that which You bless. This I ask in the Savior's Name. Amen.
The above devotion was inspired by a number of sources, including one written by Gina Carey for Newser on June 19, 2017. Those who wish to reference that article may do so at the following link, which was fully functional at the time this devotion was written. Please click here.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries