Ever since I was approved as a substitute aide for a local school district, I tend to wake up every morning by 6 AM without the help of my alarm clock.
The gal who calls the subs to work indicated she would call sometime after 6, but before 6:30 if she needed me. I don't bother to set my alarm, since I know I won't get a call every day . And if she doesn't call, I want to sleep at least until 7 before getting up to start my day.
I've always had difficulty when startled awake from a deep sleep by the telephone. It leaves me jittery for awhile and I have to really work hard at calming my mind in order to go back to sleep.
Being in ministry, it's a fact of life that goes along with the job so I've learned to live with it. After all, emergencies which need the pastor's attention can't be scheduled between 9 AM and 5 PM.
But apparently, because I anticipate a possible 6:30 call from the school, my internal clock kicks in to wake me up - just in case the phone rings. My brain is saving me from that jittery awakening.
Has that ever happened to you?
We are fearfully and wonderfully made! God equipped us with a stress hormone called adrenocorticotropin which apparently starts to build up in our systems about 30 minutes before we actually wake up. When it reaches a peak, it gives us the gentle "jolt" we need to rouse us from sleep to wakefulness. Somehow, this internal clock of ours can even be set for specific times like a 6:00 wake up call.
When we are startled awake by our clocks, that hormone doesn't build up gradually. Instead, we experience an adrenalin rush, that fight or flight feeling, which can leave us disoriented, tired or jittery for awhile until the hormone dissipates.
Apparently plants have an internal clock too. Researchers studying certain plants found that about an hour before sunrise, the genes that activate sunlight absorption in the plant began to "wake up" for the day. This same internal clock regulates the plants' ability to produce buds and fruit/seeds at te proper time.
In Matthew chapter 24, Christ gave his disciples indicators of a sort of spiritual "internal clock" for creation. He foretold of a cosmic build up of earth stressors (an increase of wars, famines, earthquakes, hatred among people, and an increase in wickedness) designed to wake up the hearts
of men, alerting them to the coming of Christ. Those who anticipate his coming will respond to the "internal clock" wake up call and be ready to go, while those who don't, will be startled awake to the harsh reality of God's judgment.
Thank you Lord for those internal clocks that not only wake me up for my daily activities, but that also help me wake up to your light! Amen.