I have a talent for sleeping. I sleep through storms, babies crying and traffic. I sleep well when I travel and when I'm at home. The drawback to my aptitude is that I often exercise this capability at the most inopportune moments. I've been known to fall asleep in the choir loft, while someone's telling me a story but particularly when I'm praying.
Clara (5) is the earliest riser amongst our children. Some mornings she finds me peacefully "praying" and inquires, "Mommy, are you sleeping or praying?" Her sweet little voice is better than a double espresso to bolt me back awake.
This morning I am reading 1 Thessalonians 5. As Paul concludes his first letter to the Thessalonians, he recaps his instructions. It is also home to this verse: "So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled." (Verse 6) I laughed when I read this. A vivid picture of myself slumped over with drool trickling down my chin popped into my head. There stood Jesus smiling and whispering into Clara's ear, "Ask her if she's praying or sleeping." He chuckles as I sheepishly reveal the truth.
I'm afraid Paul may have had me in mind when he wrote this truth. My knack for sleeping can spill over into many areas of my life. The effective Christian is not one who sleep walks through life but rather one who faces every day with excitement knowing that walking with Christ is nothing short of a grand adventure.
So how do I wake up and become alert? Paul gives me three caffeines for the soul:
- Be Joyful Always (Verse 16)
- Pray Continually (Verse 17)
- Give Thanks in All Circumstances (Verse 18)
The combination of joy, prayer and thanksgiving can energize my sleepiest moment.
Jesus, with all my heart I want to begin my every day with you. My spirit is willing but my flesh is weak. It is joy, prayer and thanksgiving that aligns my desire and actions. Wake me up, Jesus!