Up

Sleeping alarm clockI was about twelve; at a sleepover.  I’d stayed up late doing what any rational-minded eleven-year-old girl would do: stayed up late to be staying up late.  I don’t know how late we’d stayed up, but as a kid sleeping even eight hours was insufficient to me.  I needed (or at least thought I needed) nine or ten.

I hadn’t gotten nearly enough, and not even eight, when I was taken from a deep sleep into a shallow one by what to me was an unfathomably rude awakening:

“Up.”

I was a heavy sleeper up until a few years ago.  As a kid, I had times where I even slept through a thunderstorm.  Just about nothing woke me up.

But this did.

“Up.”

I used to like toddlers.  I used to like toddlers until that morning.

The youngest sister of my friends was standing right by my head, where it was resting on their downstairs couch.  She was not much taller than the couch; she was only about two.  But she kept saying that word, over and over.

“Up.”

Like a circuit preacher, she traveled from me to the couch where her older sister was sleeping, poking us, pulling at our hair, and saying that one word, over and over again.

“Up.”

I was determined not to be woken up.

My determination, however, was outmatched by a toddler.

“Up,” she said.  Poking and poking.  Pulling even at my hair!

I thought she would surely stop bothering me and find something else to do.  I thought she would surely go away if I held out long enough.  So I tried to block her out of my mind, but it was no use.

“Up,”  she said.

And so, having not gotten my full night’s sleep, and feeling very cranky, I got up.

.                    .                    .                    .                    .                    .

You know, there are times when–confidentially–I feel a bit like giving up.  Do you ever feel that way?  But what I find is that when I want to sit down and wait for others to move, I am inevitably moved to my feet by God’s Up.

Up.  It’s time.  The pity party is over.  It’s time to get back in the game.  Up.

Put my mouthgear back in, my helmet back on, lace up my sneakers, cinch my elbow pads.  Up.  Not for my glory, or honor, or power–but for His.

Up!

Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law. For the commandments say, “You must not commit adultery. You must not murder. You must not steal. You must not covet.” These—and other such commandments—are summed up in this one commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the requirements of God’s law.

This is all the more urgent, for you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up, for our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is almost gone; the day of salvation will soon be here. So remove your dark deeds like dirty clothes, and put on the shining armor of right living. (Romans 13:8-12, NLT)

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