Ignore the Alarm

By Shanae Godley

I heard someone say that “Life is a Masterclass,” and a recent trip to Wal-Mart was full of life lessons that I could not ignore.

To start, on the way out I donated to the group of young ladies standing outside the door. I noticed on my way in that they were raising money for their local basketball team and I couldn’t help but reminisce about the days when I served as a youth group leader and we held fundraisers.  We always hoped that someone would come over and make a donation. On this day,

I didn’t have much to give, but it felt good to give what I had.

So, with a smile on my face and a skip in my step, I walked to my car.

Awakened from the moment, I heard an alarm blaring across the parking lot. First noticing that it was not my alarm, I felt a sense of relief. The alarm was coming from the car next to my own. Inside sat an older lady who appeared to be shaken up. After spending some time talking with her I realized that she had a need, she tried to get out, the alarm went off, so she stopped trying.

On one hand, I felt extremely sad for her, being locked in a hot car with mere cracks in the window and an urgent need, but too afraid to get out. Understanding her fear, I kept her company while someone else went to get help and find her loved one. At this moment I learned that not all of my giving has to be money. Some of the best giving comes in time, patience, and good conversation.

On the other hand, I learned that no matter how many times I tried to get her to open the door, she wouldn’t. She was so afraid of the alarm going off that she would not dare open the door. Her need went unmet until someone came to open the door for her.

Often I find myself like the lady in the car; wanting so badly to get out of a bad situation, but so afraid of the alarms. Sometimes the alarm is a “mistake,” but other times the alarm is what other people say or what we say to ourselves. The alarm could be the doubt or fear that stops you from moving forward. Whatever the alarm is, remember that it’s just an alarm.

If we keep ourselves in the “safe zone” of life, living inside the box, because an alarm will go off when we move forward, then we will never move into the greatness that is life. I believe that if we make a mistake and we endure the consequences that we should be able to learn from it, try it again, and hopefully get it right. The problem with having this belief is that you have to ignore the alarm.

Don’t let a mistake stop you from opening the next door. Don’t let an alarm stop you from getting what you need.

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