Another reason for right living is that you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up, for the coming of our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is almost gone; the day of salvation will soon be here. So don't live in darkness. Get rid of your evil deeds. Shed them like dirty clothes. Clothe yourselves with the armor of right living, as those who live in the light. (Romans 13:11-12 NLT)
I don't know about you, but some of my "best ideas" come to me right before I go to sleep. Yet in that special land between wakefulness and sleep, I have traditionally decided that I would not get up and write down my thoughts. "I'll remember this in the morning!" I cheerily tell myself as I give myself permission to slip into deep slumber. Problem is, I can't ever remember those "stellar" insights to life, "incredible" sermon ideas, or "fantastic" Heartlight articles when I awaken in the morning. Something about the light of dawn causes me deep and permanent memory loss! My procrastination and my desire for deep sleep defeats the good intentions in my heart and the good ideas in my head.
To combat my forgetfulness, I have sometimes kept a pencil and notepad by my bedside. When I had one of those twilight sleep ideas of "world-changing magnitude," I would write down the gist of it before I dropped off to sleep. The next morning, I would look at those scribbled notes I had jotted down in my nether-sleep and could remember the "stellar" thoughts of the previous evening ... provided I could read my own writing.
In more recent days, I have kept a more modern notepad by my bedside — a handheld computer. When I get one of those "incredible" pre-sleep ideas, I tap out the ideas into the handheld and my "amazing" pre-sleep thoughts are there waiting for me in the morning. (Not only is the handheld more readable, the backlit screen helps me edit, put down more content, and provides a nightlight for me to see my way to the bathroom in the dark.) I don't lose those "brilliant" ideas simply because I've slept sometime between thought and remembrance. Now that I don't forget so many of my "great" ideas, I can honestly admit that many of them were not all that brilliant. However, this way I get to decide which ones I want to forget.
So what is the point of all this rambling? Well, there's an old saying that goes something like this: "The road to hell is paved with good intentions." In our busy and overly hectic lives, we make so many commitments to ourselves that we never keep. In fact, we make many internal commitments that we can't even remember. We get busy — or we have a night's sleep — and we forget about that deep conviction that led to a new commitment the night before. Our good intentions lie on the scrap heap of forgetfulness. Maybe we need a spiritual notepad to keep nearby and jot down these commitments. Maybe we need to cut back on the commitments we make and ramp up on keeping them.
For you are all children of the light and of the day; we don't belong to darkness and night. So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Stay alert and be sober. (1 Thessalonians 5:5-6)