I’ve been awake since 5:30am.
When I was in high school I was very involved in Young Life. It was one of those things where peer pressure worked out in a really positive way for me. My group of friends were going, so I went and it was one of the best parts of my high school experience.
YL has various camps around the country and I went to Southwind (sadly, I had no recollection of the name and had to look it up) camp in Florida both as a camper and returned as work crew after I graduated high school. One year at camp, I met this guy (who’s name has also completely been erased from my brain) who didn’t use an alarm clock because his interpretation of faith meant trusting that God would wake him each morning at the time that he needed to get up. Being the overly responsible person that I am, I remember asking him what about days when he had a test or something really important he couldn’t miss? He said he hadn’t missed a test yet but even if he did, he was confident that the Lord would make a way. I kid you not, that’s what he said.
Although many would argue with his theology, he was 20(ish), good looking and had that kind of personality where you felt like a close friend, even though you’d just met him. So I nodded and smiled and gave him crap about it for the rest of the week.
That random encounter at YL camp was the unlikely beginning of my own choice not to use an alarm clock (and becoming a vegetarian, but that’s a different story).
That kid’s story stuck with me all the way back to college. And out of sheer curiosity, I decided I would stop using my alarm clock, just to see what would happen. Internally I was torn because it felt wrong, like I was testing God, daring him to let me sleep through something important. And part of me longed to have enough trust that I too could make such bold statements, not caring if people thought I was crazy, but confident in what I believed to be true. As usual, I landed somewhere in the middle.
I never slept through and exam. I’ve never missed a flight or important meeting. Never, not once. Once I got my first cell phone, I even stopped having a clock in my room, I never did like the glowing lights or waking up with a jolt. Was it a life changing, faith-building, God encounter? Not in the least. I just kind of happened.
I mostly think about all this when the times changes. I almost always wake up at 6:30am. Something inside me says open your eyes, and I cannot stop it. When the time changes, I wake up at 5:30am until my body adjusts. I don’t know if it’s habit, genetics or some sort of an alarm clock angel but that’s how it works for me.