THE PURPOSE CLOCK
The name change is long overdue. There is something abrasive about the label for the well-known device that jolts us from our sleep – our trusty old alarm clock. Alarm clocks have been around since the 15th century – albeit very primitive ones early on. Now there are water-squirting alarm clocks or ones that require you to solve a riddle before it can be silenced. People set their alarm clocks for a purpose – otherwise there is no reason to be interrupted from a snooze or a sleep; no reason to stop doing one thing in order for something else to be done. From this day forward, let us call it the ‘Purpose Clock’. Much less offensive than the anxiety-producing label – alarm clock!
It had been a busy Sabbath day in Capernaum. Jesus had attended the services in the synagogue and also did some teaching, with such authority the people were deeply impressed. The service was interrupted by a demonic outburst which Jesus quickly dealt with. Later, He relieved Simon’s mother-in-law of her debilitating fever. Then, after sunset, the townsfolk swarmed the house, bringing multiple physical and spiritual needs to the doorstep for His intervention. And they didn’t go away disappointed.
After a heavy day like that, one might be inclined to not set the ‘purpose’ clock for the next morning- or at least, adjust it to a later hour. But Jesus – the Perfect Servant with an internal purpose clock, quietly exited the house, the next morning, while the stars were still twinkling in the sky – possibly 4AM. Down the steps, through the streets, and out of the city He went. They say the landscape around the Sea of Galilee provides places of solitude – on the table lands and in the ravines of the hilly ranges. It was into such a desert solitude that Jesus went so early that morning to pray.
In the early morning, while it was still dark,
Jesus got up,
left the house,
and went away to a secluded place,
and was praying there.
Oh, the stillness of the early morning hour in His personally selected secluded spot. Long before the cart-wheels rolled over the rough streets of Capernaum – Jesus woke up, got up and left the house. Gone to pray. The model life of purpose and He lived it 24/7 – not in a presumptuous or independent way; but rather, ever dependent upon His Father.
What gets you out of bed each morning? Do you see no reason whatever to rename your alarm clock? It does exactly only that – alarms you, grates on you, and forces you to crawl out of bed – to do what you don’t really want to do? Is that it? When our thinking is recalibrated to God’s will for our life, we will bless that little device and appreciate it as the ‘Purpose Clock’. Whether it is an actual physical device or the ‘purpose clock’ within, we will find a new energy when we realize we are here to glorify God.
What is your over-arching purpose in life? Can you connect all your activities today and this week to your over-arching life purpose – like streams and tributaries that flow into the much larger river of your life’s great purpose? Our education, our work, our interactions in the community, our leisure, our finances and everything else – should all be dots that are connected to God’s purpose for saving us. If we could grasp that – how different our perspective would be and how much brighter the sun would shine even in our dark days of distress.
Think of Christ: whether walking, resting, eating, sailing, interacting, attending community events, taking time out, teaching, preaching, healing, praying – all of His actions and activities contributed to His purpose here – ultimately to glorify His Father and to go to the Cross. (John 12:27-28)
What gets you out of bed in the morning? Do you have a purpose?
Walk carefully and closely with the Lord today,
Warmly in Christ,