There is nothing quite like the piercing sound of a smoke detector, never mind a whole apartment or household full of them going off. Waking to such noise, as I experienced one recent morning, is unexpected and both shocking and frightening. Yet, it is also a blessing.
An alarm is a sign that something is wrong and requires immediate attention. However, despite the shrieks of the smoke alarm and its call to action, there is also the voice of Wisdom who says, “Stay calm,” reminding one that it is important to be able to think straight, to act best, and to resist being overcome and driven by panic and fear. This is especially sage in the midst of an emergency, but also in the face of adversity.
This past week, for the 45th time in the history of the United States of America, the position and power of President was passed on to someone different. Along with this change, many people feel a great sense of uncertainty and fear. In the midst of those feelings though, is the voice of Wisdom who says, “Stay calm.”
As I think about all that has happened over the more than four decades of my existence, and then add to it the decades and centuries of those who came before me, it is interesting to recall the challenges and the way in which they were met. It causes me to reflect. What is it that really wakes me up? It reminds me, “Look toward the Lord and be radiant; let your faces not be abashed” (Psalm 34:6).