A People Pea-Shooter

by Joanna Pierce on March 07, 2018

Oversleeping? Never going to happen—not on my watch.

I’m always terrified I will oversleep, so I have a minimum 2-alarm clock rule: always set the digital alarm clock and the phone alarm every night before I go to bed. In extreme cases, I’ll set my Fitbit alarm.

Truth be told, I can typically count on my internal alarm clock to kick in. It normally wakes me up right before any of the digital clocks sound the alarm. But, if I’m exhausted, and not getting enough sleep, my body won’t always naturally arise. I need those alarms at that point; something to get me out of bed.

I wondered how people woke up prior to technological inventions. I thought about the Proverbs 31 woman and how she rose while it was yet night (Proverbs 31:15). According to theologians, she would get up many times in the middle of the night, do housework, and return to bed. It must have been God.

I came across an interesting fact on the underside of a Snapple lid the other day, fact #1345 to be exact, which answered my question. “Knocker Uppers” were professionals paid to shoot peas at windows. They were the pre-wakeup call, pre-alarm clock, pre-smart phone crew.

Can you imagine? Who got them up? Knocker Uppers not only had to be their own alarm clock, but also a killer shot to be able to shoot peas at a window accurately and efficiently until the unconscious human woke up and came to the window to tell them to stop.

This job didn’t pay much, but it was a critical need. Large numbers of people carried out the job especially in larger, industrial towns. Knocker Uppers never left a home until they ensured the person was awake. They worked until the job was done, as long as it was necessary, and they didn’t give up.

And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light (Romans 13:11–12, KJV).

Paul preached to the church about the necessity of waking up out of sleep. He taught how the world dons a cloak of falsified comfort around the child of God, and rocks them into a scary state of slumber. Paul knew truth and wanted to ensure everyone else knew it too. He was awake and bound and determined to make sure there wasn’t a soul risking death due to accidentally sleeping in.

Paul was a Knocker Upper, but in a spiritual sense. He kept shooting spiritual peas by preaching and teaching the Word of God. He didn’t stop until people heard the Word, were changed, and were converted.

Like Paul, we need to be the Knocker Uppers for the truth to the world today. We need to be out in the highways and byways teaching everyone we encounter the Word of God. People are sleeping all around the world, and it’s high time for them to wake out of sleep.

Don’t give up on shooting your spiritual peas. Keep relentlessly teaching and preaching the Gospel. Keep lifting up people in prayer before the throne of God. God is coming back for His church soon—we need to be awake and we need to be ready, and so does everybody else.

Let’s start today and wake up the world around us. Let’s work together to keep shooting those spiritual peas at every window/soul we encounter. It’s time to get up.