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  • Writer's pictureBrittany Green

Are You Fully Awake?




Are you a Sunday nap person? You know, there are people who live for the Sunday afternoon nap. Come home from church, quick lunch, then everyone chill so I can nap! The upcoming week may not function if you don’t nap. Or are you the type of person who loves a chill Sunday afternoon? It’s a day off, so you’ve just got to do something fun and outdoors that you don’t get to do during the week. Why waste it with a nap?


Me? I wrestle with wanting to do both. A nap would be so good after church, but wouldn’t it also be great to sit in the hammock or go hiking or hang out at a coffee shop? It’s even worse when football is in season because I do not want to miss the Bengals game, but also there’s probably people to hang out with, but also if the weather’s nice the outdoor calls. And then, reality sets and if I haven’t had any coffee and if I sit down, I’m a goner for the nap.


It’s rare that I actually get time for a Sunday nap. There’s usually a church event, people to see, or more likely we sit at lunch too long. Because you see, if I’m going to nap it won’t be a little short nap. It’s going to be a waste-the-afternoon-away type of nap – two hours or so later and the sun has set, that’s the type of naps I take. I wake up groggy and rested, but it was a deep, heavy sleep. The kind where I don’t want to go anywhere after, and then the day is shot. So usually, I grab some iced coffee and push through Sundays to enjoy the day awake!


This week in my Bible reading plan, I stumbled upon a really familiar story with a line I had never noticed before. In Luke 9, toward the end, Jesus and three disciples (Peter, James, and John – the bros) went up on a mountain to pray. They had been doing a lot of ministry, Jesus had just fed the 5,000 and it was common for Jesus to retreat and pray. He also had Sunday naps. So these guys are up on the mountain praying and the transfiguration occurs. This is when Jesus became “dazzling white” and Moses and Elijah (prophets from the Old Testament) appeared and were talking with Jesus. Later God speaks down saying, “This is my Son, my Chosen One, listen to Him!” Jesus is about to head to the cross and is ministered to by the old prophets and affirmed to the disciples by God the Father.


There is a lot going on in this passage. However, verse 32 is what stood out to me. This is a crazy awesome moment that the three disciples were able to witness. Luke 9:32 says, “Now Peter and those who were with him were heavy with sleep…” I’ve always heard about Peter’s reaction to the transfiguration. We preach about it saying things like, “he got so zealous that he made rash statements to build tents”, “let’s not be like Peter because all he needed to do was listen to Jesus”. But I’ve never heard mention of the disciples being heavy with sleep. I’ve read it many times, but obviously passed over it.


When else are the disciples heavy with sleep? When Jesus goes to the garden of Gethsemane to pray before being arrested, he takes with him Peter, James, and John again. He asks them to pray and keep watch while He goes on a little further. They fall asleep three times. Each time, Jesus asks them to stay awake and keep watch. Their eyes were too heavy. (You can find these accounts in Matthew 26 and Mark 14)


It’s an interesting parallel for these same three guys to be asleep while away with Jesus. Both times as they awaken, they are startled by what’s happening around them. In Luke 9, they wake up to Jesus’ face glowing and two realllllllly old heroes of the faith standing on the mountain. In the Garden, they wake up to guards arresting Jesus. How much did they miss while they were asleep? What would have happened if the weight of sleep wasn’t too heavy for them?


There is so much good that comes from rest and retreat with Jesus. Jesus himself is the number one example of pouring out in ministry everywhere He turns while also finding rest a necessity. He would retreat to be with God. The right kind of rest is powerful. There’s a reason a Sunday afternoon nap doesn’t refresh me. I get refreshed in other ways.


However, as I was reading about Peter and the bros falling asleep, I just wondered if there are places in my life that I am asleep. Are there times when God is inviting me up the mountain for incredible things, but life is too heavy and instead of being refreshed with God, His Word, and His vision, I check out and coast to sleep.


I imagine the things that I’m asleep in could be something God is calling me to do, someone He wants to reach, or personal time with Him. But if I’m not careful, I can fall asleep on my guard against sin, letting it seep into my days.


What am I missing? Are there places in my life that I am not fully awake in? I’m not sure, but I think it would be good to pray about how to be alert.


Once Peter, John, and James became fully awake, Luke 9:32 says that “they saw His glory.” May we not miss out on the glory of God because of our slumber. Life may be wearisome and heavy. Our eyes may get too heavy to stay awake. Or we may be lulled to sleep because of monotonous routines or numbing out to life.


I love how the Message puts Ephesians 5:11-16:

Don’t waste your time on useless work, mere busywork, the barren pursuits of darkness. Expose these things for the sham they are. It’s a scandal when people waste their lives on things they must do in the darkness where no one will see. Rip the cover off those frauds and see how attractive they look in the light of Christ.

Wake up from your sleep,Arise from the dead;Christ will show you the light!

So watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get.

How do we awake from our sleep? Spend intentional time with Jesus, in His Word. Serve someone this week. Break up the routine and do something for someone else outside of your family. Pray and listen to what God has for you in this season.

Let’s be people who get to be “astonished at the majesty of God” because we are fully awake! (Luke 9:43)

 

P.S. Last time I was on the blog, I wrote about my superglued shoes. I am so grateful for all of your love and concern for the shoes that I should have taken back… However, I wanted to let you know that those suckers are going strong! They haven’t peeled again and did really well two weeks ago when I walked 51+ miles in them all over Washington DC. (Picture is proof they’re going strong, plus I didn’t have any other pictures for this week, so here’s a pretty pic!)

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