“My father says that almost the whole world is asleep. Everybody you know. Everybody you see. Everybody you talk to. He says that only a few people are awake and they live in a state of constant total amazement” (from the movie Joe vs. The Volcano)
The Apostle Paul urges us to not be asleep, but to awake from our slumber. He doesn’t mean to never sleep at all. He means to be alert and paying attention to what’s going on around you. To not have your head buried in the sand and to know the signs of the times. To always be ready for Jesus to come back at any moment.
To be awake is to not sleep-walk through life. It’s to not be so focused on getting stuff done and accumulating stuff and titles and trophies that you miss life. So often, life– real life- is in the small details that we overlook in our rush to get to the next big phase of our existence. We’re either so focused on what’s next or on what in the past we could have done better that we miss what God is doing right now.
I heard a beautiful illustration today about the parable of the virgins waiting on the bridegroom. In the parable, some were ready with their lamps filled with oil and some were not. In that day, the husband-to-be would go away and prepare a place for his bride-tobe, usually adding an addition to his parent’s house. When he was done, he would come back for her and take her there.
She didn’t know when he was coming back, so she literally had to be ready every single day. She had to be made-up and adorned in her wedding apparel in case today was the day he showed up.
We need to be ready in the same way. We need to be living the faith we proclaim now. We need to be loving people radically and both demonstrating and declaring the supreme goodness of Jesus right now. We need to be Jesus to those around us who need Him desperately right now.
Most of all, we need to live with eyes wide open (as another song I heard once said). Those who are really and truly awake can’t help but see God in everything and see His blessings at every turn. We will be the most joyful, most content, most alive people the world has ever known because we really have seen the glory of the coming of the King.
The question for you and for me is: will we continue to sleep-walk through our existence and wonder at the end what it was all about, or will we come alive to God’s calling and purpose and live in the complete joy of being exactly where God wants us to be living out God’s dream for us?