Ann Landers used this phrase when a reader wrote showing evidence that something contrary to the reader’s best interest was happening, but the reader just didn’t want to see it.
An affair by a spouse. Drug activity on the part a child. Gossip by a supposed friend. Ann would quip, “Wake up! Smell the coffee!”
A man once fell asleep during Paul’s sermon and fell out of third story window to his death. It is a story told in Acts 20:7-12. It wasn’t likely the first time someone fell asleep during a sermon, and it definitely was not the last. However, it is rare that a person dies after falling asleep during a sermon.
Old-time revival evangelists used to scream and holler and make it awfully difficult to fall asleep during their preaching. Yet it did happen from time to time.
One evangelist noticed a man nodding off as he was preaching. The preacher idled his way down one side aisle clear to the back, then sauntered across to the middle aisle, all the while preaching his message. Then he quietly moved up the center aisle to the pew where the man was sleeping. In his ear the evangelist shouted, “Fire! Fire!”
The poor man jumped to his feet, crying out, “Where? Where?” The preacher responded, “In hell, where you’re gonna be if you can’t be a little more alert!”
Martha was having trouble keeping George awake in church. He was beginning to snore softly. She knew that soon it would be a full-fledged woodpecker concert, so she asked her friend for help.
“Sally, I know you had trouble with Harry falling asleep in church. How did you fix it?” Sally simply said, “Limburger cheese.”
So the next Sunday, Martha was prepared when George started snoring. She whipped out of her purse the limburger, well wrapped, unwrapped it, and waved it in front of his nose. George came instantly awake, wide-eyed and shouting, “For crying out loud, Marty, get your feet off the pillow!”
Many stories of people falling asleep in church exist, some of them pretty funny. But listen to these powerful words: “And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.” Romans 13:11
Listen now: You are closer than you have ever been to facing that appointment at the judgment seat with God. Are you ready?
Many have fallen into a life of apathy. Sometime before they get too old, they reason, it would be good for me to get more serious about the Lord. But the time keeps getting put off longer and longer until one day it’s too late. Life ends without every getting serious about God’s will in that one’s life.
On the other hand, some who have been faithful for many years also fall into apathy. Having accepted Jesus as Lord, some get impatient and wonder if God really will save them. This may lead to unfaithfulness with the thought, “I’ll always have time to repent and come back to God.”
God has appointed us to “obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep (whether living or dead when He returns), we should live together with Him.” I Thessalonians 5:10
This is not a time for impatience. This is not a time for putting off Jesus Christ.
Isn’t it time for Jesus? Wake up and smell the coffee!