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Pecan Pie for the Mind: Theology of alarm clocks and anger
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Since 1990, I've traveled too much, stayed in too many hotels, and learned how to operate too many different alarm clocks. Rather, I've attempted to learn how to operate too many different alarm clocks. For the most part, I consider setting a hotel alarm clock to be like playing a game of dice. Pick it up, shake it, blow on it, throw it against the wall, watch it bounce and pray your number comes up.

Well, my number seldom comes up. Usually, I get 3:54 a.m.. Anyone who knows me knows that's not my number. I am more of a 7 and 11 kind of guy. As in, "Set it for 11:00 and let me hit the snooze button about seven times." I think that dice analogy is a perfect fit. When I think of hotel alarm clocks, "CRAPS" comes to mind more often than not.

As a preacher's spouse, I have a theological problem regarding hotel alarm clocks and eternal redemption. I'm all about forgiveness. If you hurt me, I'm supposed to turn the other cheek and give you a second shot. "Forgive those who sin against us." Well, what about forgiving inanimate objects that sin against us? Are we supposed to show Christian compassion to cars, blenders, ink jet printers, and Styrofoam cups that do us harm? Am I wrong to hold an unforgiving attitude towards hotel alarm clocks? This is clearly a tough question - one that I'm sure is covered in only the most sophisticated graduate seminary classes: The ones taught out on the lawn by the long-haired guys from California.

If I hold a grudge against hotel alarm clocks, I risk extending my anger to other forms of basic appliances. I can't do that. That sounds unhealthy and insane. Insane is not a good career move. On the other hand, if I go around forgiving all my gadgets, then I also risk riding in the white coat parade. "Did you hear about him? Yeah...Just baptized his third cell phone this week." Until this issue is resolved by a biblical authority, I'm going to exclude hotel alarm clocks from the grace of God. I have to. It would be hard to say my prayers in a hotel room knowing that I've just murdered a clock-radio that wouldn't shut up. Besides, I don't even want to think of alarm clocks and "eternal life" in the same breath. That's just so wrong it hurts.

David McCoy, a notorious storyteller and proud Yellow Jacket, lives in Conyers. He can be reached at