Thursday, March 20, 2008

Divine Romance

My alarm clock is dying. This is significant. Me and my alarm clock go WAY back.

I won it in the eight grade at a giant youth rally for knowing that a fermata instructs the musician to hold a note out longer than its value.

It's the only thing I've ever won. (Unless you count the tanning lotion I won for having the whitest skin at last year's women's retreat - thanks, Mom, for the Irish genes.)

It's been my alarm clock these many moons. Until the antenna cord ripped out of the back of it, after the sun went down on my bedroom in south central Idaho I could get radio stations as far away as Calgary and Las Vegas. (This was before satellite radio.)

It's the alarm clock that made me fall in love with the hits of the 40's, 50's and 60's, a love affair going strong even to this day.

It's the alarm clock that serenaded me through college.

There's nothing special about it. I think it's a Radio Shack brand. No. Realistic. I still have the box it came in.

I love my alarm clock. I've tried to use other alarm clocks on occasion, but there's nothing like my old Realistic. I always come back to it.

Last night, as I lay down to make the trip to dreamland, I noticed something odd. The digital readout on my trusty alarm clock was lying to me.

It said the time was 11:90.

I knew it was really 11:50. So I could see, obviously, that an extra little line thingy had decided to come out and play. I watched the deception for a few minutes. 11:93. 11:97. 11:90-zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Here's the thing. Ever since the switch to daylight savings time, I have not been able to stick to my self-imposed, God-enforced 5 am wake-up routine.

(When I say God-enforced, what I mean is that rather than setting my alarm, I usually ask God to wake me up however many minutes I'll need to get up before the boys do in order to spend however many minutes with Him I need to spend. He usually uses the cat to answer my prayer. I use this method because usually when I set my alarm, I wake up before it goes off. So the alarm is not that useful.)

But 5 am was clearly a much larger bite than I could chew (this having been deduced by the frequency with which I told God I'd be up in just a minute and then went straight back to sleep). So I decided to rearrange. 5:30 am will work just fine for me, thank you very much. And mentally, it just feels better.

So I talked to God about it. "Let's try 5:30, Abba." Just in passing, really.

But, as noted, last night I didn't make it to bed until 11:90. So when I checked the time on my alarm and it said it would go off at 6 am, I said, "Close enough."

This morning, I woke up from a deliciously tantalizing dream (the contents of which have since eluded me), popped my eyes open, and squinted blearily at the clock. 5:91. I thought, "Well, it's almost time for my alarm to go off. So I'm awake now." I lay there and watched again the passage of the fake time. 5:94. 5:97. 5:99.

I expected the next number displayed to be 6:00, accompanied by that snazzy jazz choir that announces the call letters of my radio station. But it didn't say 6:00. It said 5:40. With the top line of the 4 filled in.

Apparently, it wasn't just the 5 that looked like a 9. The 3 also looked like a 9.

I thought, "If I'd known it was only 5:30 when I woke up, I would have gone back to sleep!"

Then I remembered my prayer from the day before. I had asked God to wake me up at 5:30, and He had answered faithfully, by making my brain come fully awake because I thought it was almost 6:00.


I said to Abba, "You tricked me!"

I felt Him chuckle in response.

I marveled at His faithfulness in the face of my faithlessness, and I worshipped Him.

I heard Him sing a snippet of my song in response.

Do you know the song I'm talking about?

It's this one:

"Yahweh your God is with you,
He is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing."
(emphasis mine)

--Zephaniah 3:17

I hear my song every once in a while, at quiet moments. It's really impossible to describe. My best effort would be to say that it sounds like a choir of one Voice, miraculously singing every note on the diatonic scale in perfect harmony. It's the fullest sound I've ever heard. It is rich and deep and full of love and joy.

This morning, it swooped into my being and filled ME with love and joy. I bounded out of bed, knowing it would be impossible to have a bad day after such an over-the-top romantic wake-up call.

Here's the fun part. You'll notice in the picture above that my alarm clock's time is now accurate. It doesn't say 12:96 pm. It says 12:56 pm, just as it should.

I love, love, love the fact that Abba tweaked my alarm clock to create that intimate moment with me this morning. He is so romantic.

Oh, and by the way. Your Abba is singing over you too.