Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Dings and Beeps

This is an article I recently submitted to a magazine for publication. Even if they buy it, it won't appear for an entire year, so I thought I'd share it here. It was originally around 500 or 600 words, so I had to cut it in half to fit their requirements! You know me-- being concise is a challenge! But, it's an excellent discipline for me, so I enjoy it.

Dings and Beeps

“What are those extra bells?” I asked as I buckled up. “I thought this car only chimed six times when you first got in, to remind you to put your seatbelt on. That was an extra four dings.”
“It’s telling me I need to change the oil,” answered my husband, as thrilled as I for the added racket every time we entered the car. “I’ll take care of it this weekend.”
A few weeks later we hear not only dings, but beeps. “What now?” I moan.
“A light on the dash is blinking. We need to add windshield wiper fluid.”
“ I suppose this winter it will ding to remind us to put the defroster on, and when the tires are low we’ll be beeped to put air in them. I wonder if it honks at you if you forget to send your Mom a birthday card? This is the naggingest car we’ve ever owned!”
My oven is the same way. The timer emits four or five obnoxious, high-pitched wails every ten seconds, until you recover your cookies or casserole. When I was a kid, we had one of those wind-up timers with a spring. You got one hearty ding at the end of the time, and if your cookies burnt, tuff beans. Treated you like an adult.
Aren’t you delighted God doesn’t nag? He guides with His Word. He directs by His Spirit through our conscience. He gently nudges us to make a change in our habits or repent of sin. But He does it in love, leaving the choice up to us. He trusts us.
That kind of trust and love make me want to chase Him down, jump into His arms, and embrace His every desire for me. I’d be a ding-dong not to!


  1. I almost hate to say this but I appreciate those beeps and blings. I can forget so easliy that I have something in the oven. I wish it would sound an alarm that I have left the oven on long after retrieving it's contents. I can't leave my keys in the car and lock the doors with the keys inside. Espcially wonderful in the cold weather. I really do appreciate God not nagging though. He does remind me that He is there though when sometimes it feels as though He is not.

  2. Of course you're right, Phyllis. We need reminders to not lose things! I have this aversion to loud noise, though! Love you, Jen