Why do we install smoke detectors?

We asked our 3 year old son, Caleb this simple question not long ago and got an answer which only a 3 year old can give.

To give a little background, we were talking about putting up some new smoke detectors and Caleb asked us why we would put more up.

Being the nice parents we are, instead of just giving him a straight answer, we turned the question back on him and asked “Why DO we put smoke detectors up?”

His instant, no hesitation answer: “So we know when the food is cooked!”

Classic response and one that made us laugh so much that Caleb started really wondering what he had said.

This actually wasn’t a reflection on my cooking (most of the time) but rather it was a display of how what we have been teaching him had confused his little toddler head.

Last Christmas I got a new radio for the kitchen which has a built in timer. When the timer ends, it makes a loud beeping sound which sounds very much like the smoke alarms. It was around the time that we installed this radio/timer that we were teaching our children fire safety and trying to impress on them how important it is for us to react quickly when we hear the alarm.

Due to the timer sounding so much like the alarm, we have told them that when it sounds they need to ask whether or not there is a fire – we don’t want them to be trapped in a burning house because they thought the alarm they were hearing was a kitchen timer!

Obviously, in Caleb’s little still-developing brain, he was unable to make a distinction between the concept of a timer and a smoke alarm and thought that one unit performed both functions.

That got me thinking….. what things do we struggle to distinguish between?

I know for me, I struggle to distinguish between the Voice of Truth and the voice of lies. I also struggle with the difference between hearing God’s voice and His call on my life and listening to my own dreams and desires.

How often do we struggle with hearing the alarm bells that God is ringing out about our society and our sin?

What do you have difficulty with? Do you think that the smoke detectors are there to tell you when dinner is done?