We've all done it. The alarm goes off. You look at the time as if it's a surprise, knowing full well you set it the night before. Maybe you're like me with two alarms set. The first is just a suggestion. I know this isn't when I need to get up but it's 15 minutes ahead - almost like a warning - of the second alarm that will buzz. That's the real one. Inevitably I snooze the first one into oblivion and wait for the real alarm to jolt me from my slumber.

The second alarm is when the negotiations begin.

"If I don't wash my hair, I can have 15 more minutes..."

"If I wear something I don't have to iron, I can have 5 more minutes..."

"If I don't pack my lunch, I can take another 10 minutes..."

Inevitably, no matter how many compromises I make, I still have to get up. The snooze only prolongs my sleep a few more minutes.

It's true of us in life, too. We see something and know it's wrong but something inside beckons us - and the negotiations begin.

"I can look, but I won't touch..."

"I can touch, but I won't partake..."

"I can partake, but I won't be consumed..."

"I can consume, but I won't be overwhelmed..."

"If I get overwhelmed, I can recover..."

It's called sin. And just like that blaring alarm, there are warnings going off in our conscience. We start to bargain and barter - don't we know we're dealing with the enemy?! And yet the buzzing isn't enough, sometimes, to keep us away.

I've been there. Pushing snooze on my conscience. Bargaining my way to the edge, as close as my toes can go without stepping over the line... Well, maybe it wouldn't hurt to put a to across... I mean, it's just one foot and the other foot is planted firmly on the other side... Sure, both feet have crossed, but I can jump right back over whenever I choose...

But before I even realize it, I'm neck-deep on the other side of good choices and solid decisions and wisdom and warnings have turned into what will surely turn out to be unavoidable consequences.

I'm going to keep setting the "warning" alarm, even though I know I have 15 more minutes. I'm willing to set as many alarms as necessary to make sure they get my attention. Snooze isn't an option here. No more negotiations. No more bartering. It's time to get up!


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