Slumber. Repose. Sleep. Rest. Snooze.
All these words mean the same thing: the absence of wakefulness in which one is unconscious of one’s surroundings, experiencing a resting of the body and mind. I would like to focus on the phrase, “one is unconscious of one’s surroundings.”
Jesus rebuked the Pharisees and teachers of religious law for not being aware of their surroundings. He said that they knew how to interpret the signs of the weather around them but not the signs of the times (Matthew 16:1-4). They were living in the greatest redemptive moment in history, yet because of their jealousy, hunger for power, and lack of true communion with Father God, they didn’t realize it. They had fallen asleep.
We live in a society that values all that meets its definition of success. Unfortunately, the price demanded by that definition is high. Stress, conflict, and an unrelenting focus on their goals cause life to become unbalanced, resulting in many people losing things that matter: marriage, family, and friendships. They are so dedicated to their goals that they lose sight of eternal things and what is most important in this life. They have fallen asleep.
Many of us have been part of a “religious” society that has lost sight of what is truly important: fellowship with the Father, doing only what He does, and saying only what He says. We seek success in much the same way as the world around us does. We compare ourselves to others. We try to parlay our spiritual gifts into monetary rewards. We work hard and keep ourselves so busy doing what we think is right that we forget Jesus’ command to love our neighbor as ourselves. We, too, have fallen asleep.
In Revelation 22:29 Jesus said, “Yes, I am coming soon.” We are living in the time He called “soon,” between His revelation to John and the time He comes for His bride. Yet many of us are asleep, unaware of our surroundings. We haven’t looked at the signs around us, much like the Pharisees and teachers of religious law in Jesus’ day. We don’t realize that we are living in one of the most important times in history.
Our Father loves us with a love so deep we can never fully understand it. He longs for intimacy with us. He wants us to discern the time in which we are living and to be involved in His kingdom work while there is still time. He calls out to us, trying to rouse us from our slumber:
“Look, winter is past, and the rains are over and gone.
The flowers are springing up, the season of singing birds has come,
and the cooing of turtledoves fills the air.
The fig trees are forming young fruit, and the fragrant grapevines are blossoming.
Rise up, my darling! Come away with me, my fair one!”
(Song of Solomon 2:11-13, New Living Translation)
PRAYER: Father, awaken my soul.
~ Cathy Schrock, writer
~ photo of Christ on Gethsemane with Three Apostles Sleeping: Composition by J.LeBreton; glass studio of Gaudin, Paris, 1933