Everyone is known for something. Their job, family, personality, jokes they tell. I am famous for sleeping. When I was a baby my parents had the entire second story of the house constructed. I learned to sleep through the hammering and sawing, and so we credit my deep sleeping abilities to the early days of my life.
I’ve slept while a poopy diaper sat on the pillow next to my nose. I’ve slept in an arcade when supervising a youth group retreat. I’ve slept in restaurants (although that was after a concussion so it doesn’t seem like it should count). I’ve slept in my car – if Jack can do it, so can I. I taught my nieces and nephews how to play a sleeping game so that I could actually sleep longer instead of getting up to play. I’ve slept at work waiting for our party to begin. While I may enjoy sleeping, I realize some things are more important. Still, it can be hard to choose to wake up early.
Just days before Jesus was going to be crucified, He was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane and a few disciples were with Him. Jesus tells the disciples to keep watch while He goes to pray. He returns to find them sleeping. “Couldn’t you keep watch for one hour? Watch and pray so you don’t fall into temptation,” Jesus said to them as He went away a second time to pray.
When Jesus came back, He again found them sleeping because their eyes were heavy. This time Jesus didn’t even say anything to them, but turns and goes away to pray a third time. Returning, Jesus finds them still sleeping.
How would you feel if you were Jesus? Facing torture and death and your friends are clueless – sleeping because their eyes were heavy. I wonder what the disciples missed out on because they were sleeping. We know they couldn’t have prevented Jesus’ death. Jesus said He had to die. What was He praying for those three times? For God to take the cup away from Him. “Yet not as I will but as You will,” Jesus prays to the Father.
I wonder what have I missed out on because I was sleeping. Have I missed opportunities to show compassion to friends? Have I missed time with the Lord because I chose to sleep instead of pray? Have I misunderstood what God is trying to say to me?
We know that we all need sleep. God created us like that and He says in His word that He gives His beloved sleep (Psalm 127:2) and that our sleep will be sweet (Proverbs 3:24). But I don’t want Jesus to find me sleeping. I don’t want to be “asleep” to His word or His guidance or His message for me. But to be aware of how the Lord is leading me, I need to read the Bible and pray. And in my life that’s going to mean choosing less sleep.
*I’d like to point out that I wrote this instead of taking a nap. 🙂
**My new favorite sleeping position is cuddling with Jack!