Always Be Prepared – Lessons From A Smoke Alarm

I’ve been awake since 3:45 this morning.  I get up early each morning, but not this early normally.  I was in a pretty deep sleep when the smoke detectors in our house went into alarm.  They are all hooked together, so if one goes off, they all go into alarm.  I instantly hopped out of bed.  Was there a fire in my house?  I knew I needed to check things out.  I walked through the house, but I couldn’t find any smoke or fire (which is obviously good).  The alarm stopped, and I returned to bed.

Within a few minutes, I was back out of bed as the alarm went off again.  As I guessed, the battery in one of the detectors must have been losing its power.  Typically when this happens, the detector sends out a beep every minute or two.  However, in some cases, it will simply send the whole house into alarm.

With this in mind, I began to search the house for a fresh 9-Volt battery.  I looked in our battery bin.  Nothing.  I thought for a minute about where else I might have another newer battery.  The only place I could come up with was Isaac’s model rocket launcher.  I found the controller and pulled the battery.  When I took it to the detector I thought was the culprit, I discovered that the battery from Isaac’s rocket launcher was also low on power.

So what else could I do?  You guessed it.  I grabbed my wallet and car keys, threw on my shoes, and drove to our local grocery store to pick up 9-Volt batteries – at four in the morning!  When I returned home at 4:20AM, I began replacing all the smoke detector batteries in the house.  I purchased enough batteries for the whole house along with having a few spares.  Next time, I’ll be sure to replace the smoke detector batteries on a regular basis (like they recommend), and I’ll be sure to be prepared with a few extra 9-Volt batteries in the house.

As I was driving to and from the grocery store at 4ish in the morning, I couldn’t help but think how this early morning wake-up call was a good reminder the follow the teaching found in I Peter 3.  In this chapter, Peter proclaims that we should always be prepared to give an answer for the hope we profess.

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.  

I Peter 3:15,16

Being prepared to give an answer to everyone regarding the hope I have seems pretty challenging, but I think there’s a few simple things we can do to help us prepare for this opportunity.  Here are a few of my ideas:

  • Remember God’s Word.  We don’t all have to be Bible scholars, but it helps to know what the Bible says.  In God’s Word, there is truth and hope that we can share with others.
  • Recharge and refresh your spiritual battery.  On a daily basis, spend time with God.  On a weekly basis, spend time with other believers at your local church.  Once or twice a year, get away for a spiritual retreat.  This could be yourself, on a missions trip, or at a conference.  Each of these activities when regularly exercised will help to keep you charged up and ready to share the hope you have with others.
  • Relax.  Yes, giving an answer for the hope we possess is an important responsibility, and it’s easy to become intimidated when an opportunity to share our faith arises.  But I think that God will help us when we take the time to prepare and recharge.  Sharing your faith isn’t just about words, it’s just as much about living it out through your actions on a daily basis.

And yet again, I learn from the lessons of my life.  In some strange way, I’m thankful for a smoke detector alarm that woke me up in the early hours of the morning.  And next time, I’ll be better prepared!

When was the last time you woke up in the middle of the night to something alarming?  What other suggestions do you have for being better prepared to give a reason for your hope?