Everything was ready to go the night before. Clothes were picked out, lunchboxes were ready, coffee was in the pot waiting to be turned on, backpacks were already packed up, and supplies were by the door. The only thing we (I) forgot was to wake everyone up on time. Today was "Back-to-School Day" - which means there are a few people to get up and get going in our house. We have two high school teachers (my wife and son), a Middle Schooler, a college Junior who was moving back to school today, and me...the guy who was supposed to get up earlier and get others moving. Bad things can happen when the people who are supposed to be awake are not.
In Matthew 26, Jesus was spending his very last night (and hours) with the disciples by praying in the Garden of Gethsamene. This is where He mentioned His soul being overwhelmed, to the point of death - because that was exactly what He would experience just a few hours from then. This was where He asked his most-trusted men to tag along and keep watch with Him. This is where He asked the Father if there was ANY OTHER way to do ("Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from Me"). This was where He wrestled and then reconciled with that and went willingly ("Yet not as I will, but as You will"). And then, this was where He came back to find the disciples sawing logs - knocked out cold and in a deep sleep, and this was where it ended:
"Then He returned to the disciples and said to them, 'Are you STILL sleeping and resting? Look, the hour is near, and the son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us go! here comes my betrayer!" (Matthew 26:45-46, emphasis mine)
If only the disciples would have been awake when they were supposed to be (If only I had been awake when I was supposed to be)! All of this has me thinking about how we should be praying this week. What are those times (moves of God) where He has invited me along (and I said I wanted to be a part of) where I got tired and feel asleep instead? I'm sure the list is too long to count.
But maybe, just maybe, I can learn from this.
Maybe I can be more vigilant in joining Jesus in His work.
Maybe I can rest when He tells me to rest and work when He tells me to work.
Maybe I can find the strength to be ready to fight the good fight of faith that He invites me to take part in, and maybe then I will be ready, willing, and able simply because He invites me to be with Him.
Maybe you can pray for me to do that this week, and I'll commit to praying for you, too.
Maybe then we both will be ready to stay awake and stay engaged in being His representatives in the world.
So as we pray this week, let's find time to be with Jesus and learn His heart for this world. Let's commit to doing the things that Jesus does and that He tells us to do. And let's commit to praying for each other, asking God to give us the energy and strength we need to do His work. And finally, let's commit to asking for help to stay awake and to be ready to do what we are supposed to do when we are supposed to do it. If we can accomplish those tasks, we will have learned the lessons we were supposed to learn.