St. Irenaeus wrote: The glory of God is man fully alive.
I experience glimpses of being fully alive:
· The pleasure of biting into fresh sweet corn on the cob and receiving it as a gift from the One who grew it
· A quiet moment when God is speaking straight to my heart
· An encounter where I sense that God is loving someone through me
· A moment in worship where everything else fades away
· The satisfaction of hearing the Holy Spirit whisper: Well done.
But I'm often sleepwalking instead.
Today the Lord pointed out that I am not sleepwalking alone. One night Jesus said to His disciples: Keep watch with me. The word He used is often translated: Be alert. Jesus knew that night would bring great opportunity and great danger. So He knew that the disciples would need to be wide-awake.
But they were sleepy.
He then said to them [and to us], Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. (Matthew 26:41)
Unlike the disciples, Jesus was vigilant and alert. He was ready for the great and dangerous moment before them later that night.
I'm becoming more aware that every day holds opportunities to live fully alive, or to sleepwalk. Many things lull me sleep. Sometimes it's the hypnotic flicker rate of a television. Sometimes it's the distraction of a task that is more important to me than it is to God. Sometimes it's the withering effect of the world, or of my own ambitions and fears. Plus, we do have an enemy who is a skilled opportunist.
I believe that I need to keep watch and be alert every day. Jesus taught us to pray: Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil because every day brings opportunities to fall short of the glory of God. (Matthew 6:13, Romans 3:23) Paul repeatedly exhorted us: Be on the alert (1 Corinthians 16:13); Stay alert (Colossians 4:2 MSG); and be alert and sober (1 Thessalonians 5:6).
With God's help I am resolved to keep watch with Jesus each day, to be aware of what God is doing in and around me, and to be alert to what my enemy would like to do to distract me and lull me into sleepwalking.
Yesterday Michelle became the proud owner of a mobile home! She is SO excited. By evening she had pulled all the weeds in the yard (there were many), made some minor repairs, and started moving in. Last night she came by our house to pick something up, and she was overflowing with enthusiasm and plans for maintaining and improving the property. We are very proud of her. This feels like a turning point in her life. Thank you for your part in praying this into reality.