Bringing the Text to Life

Alarm Fatigue Joel 2:1-2,12-17

Alarm Fatigue

Special Installment: Ash Wednesday

Muting or turning off the alarm of a medical device in a hospital room is risky. Turning off the alarms God has given us for our lives is even more dangerous. 

At a Glance

We know what happens when someone cries "Wolf!" too many times. The cries are soon ignored, and, when the wolf arrives, no one responds to the call for help. Something similar is happening in hospitals -- and in holy places.

Editors' Pick

For material based on the gospel reading, see "An Invitation to Take," February 6, 2008, at

Walk into your neighborhood hospital and the first thing you'll realize is that the place is full of beds, but no one in those beds actually gets any rest. Patients in recovery from illness or surgery are constantly poked and jostled by nurses at all hours of the day and night, family members hover at the bedside, the food tray comes in and sometimes even the pastor shows up to visit -- at the exact moment the patient has finally drifted off into something resembling sleep!

Perhaps even more obnoxious than all these distractions, however, is the constant beeping, booping, wailing and chirping of a gaggle of monitoring devices to...

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