Missed Alarm Clock

“And above all things have fervent charity (love) among yourselves: for charity (love) shall cover the multitude of sins.”

1 Peter 4:8

Our church organizes an annual summer camp for the teenagers to attend, which most look forward to. The group leaves early on Monday morning so they pack the vans with luggage the prior evening. This summer, the departure time was set for 5am, and I was not looking forward to getting up that early. It is not that I have not gotten up early before. I used to work retail, so there were many mornings in which I had already walked 10,000 steps before 6am. Now in my post-retail days, I dread having to get up early.

My daughter, Kate, was excited to go to camp and both she and my wife set their alarms for 4:30am in order to make it to the church on time. I wanted to get up at the last minute possible in order to get as much rest as I could, so I did not set my alarm. Sure enough, 4:30am came and I heard the alarm, but I heard it go off right away, so I figured it would sound again in another nine minutes. I fell back fast asleep until I was awakened by my door bell. I bolted up and looked at my clock which read 5:30am – 30 minutes past the time the group of sleepy teens and (mostly) patient adult leaders were supposed to start their trip to camp. My heart sank and I ran to open the door. I thought the whole youth group would be there, but it was just my friend Jason who was laughing hysterically when I opened the door. I am not sure if it was my sleepy face or the fact that I had overslept, but I had made his day for sure.

My wife Rebekah scurried around and woke up Kate, and we tried to get her ready as soon as possible. Kate was not in too much of a hurry as she still heated up her egg and bacon burrito, but we gathered her stuff and tried to rush her out the door. We felt bad for our error as more than 60 people were waiting for Kate to arrive at the church and their trip to Colorado was delayed by almost an hour. We received photos on our phone a few hours later, with Kate washing the van windows as “penance”.

I am not sure that I expected hate mail from the teens or youth leaders, but I did not receive anything. There were no nastygrams and there was no unfriending on Facebook. No one said a cross word to us even though our oversleeping impacted many and delayed the trip. No one even joked with us about it, and we were given the benefit of the doubt. I wish I could say I would have reacted this way, but far too many times I have not overlooked the sins and mistakes of others. I have gotten angry and lost my cool, and lashed out against the sins that I felt had been committed against me. I did not have love for my brothers and sisters in Christ, and because of that, I acted in an ungodly way.

Where are you today friend? Do you have a love that “covers a multitude of sins” or are you quick to throw the book at the offender? Do you look past the fault of others or do you hold them to a standard you don’t even hold for yourself? How would you act if someone made you an hour late for a trip? How do you treat those in your home who makes mistakes? Do you love and forgive or do you hold it over their head forever? May we remember our Lord and Savior whose love covered all of our sins, and may we emulate the love of our Father who is so patient and kind with us. Let’s love like we have been loved, and forgive as we have been forgiven.

Stay in the Fight!

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