Today’s readings (click below to open in new tab/window):
Psalms 88; 148, 1 Kings 5:1-6:1, 6:7, Acts 28:1-16, Mark 14:27-42
Are you a fan of the snooze button? Do you crave those precious extra minutes under the covers after the alarm goes off? Or maybe you are the snooze alarm when your children or spouse make it your responsibility to get them moving by asking for “just five more minutes.” Perhaps you belong to that increasingly rare breed who wake up refreshed and – miracle of miracles – don’t need an alarm.
Whatever your situation, research shows that using the snooze alarm leaves you feeling less rested. Once you’ve been jolted awake, the sleep cycle doesn’t continue, it reboots.
At the Garden of Gethsemane, Peter, James, and John did some notorious snoozing. As Jesus remained resigned to God’s will but prayed desperately that the cup of the crucifixion might pass him by, his friends couldn’t manage to stay awake. Three times he woke them, and they didn’t know what to say to him.
Only hours earlier he had predicted that in the hour of his death they would desert him, and Peter declared “Not me!” Yet even in this matter of sleep the disciple’s weak flesh overrode his willing spirit, a foreshadowing of the greater desertion to come. Jesus, fatigued and frightened, had to rouse them to accompany him in his last moments of freedom.
The trick to avoiding the snooze button is to develop healthy sleep patterns. If you don’t have them, you have to work at retraining your body and mind – or flesh and spirit, if you will. Developing healthy spiritual patterns can be similar. If we don’t have them, when life’s alarms go off – alarms like death, illness, betrayal, and tragedy – leaning on faith may seem more an effort than a comfort.
Despite Christ’s warnings, Peter wasn’t ready in the garden. He wasn’t ready at the crucifixion. But after Christ returned from death? Reboot. His flesh and spirit finally knew true rest in the embrace of Christ. We too can find that strength-building rest if our faith is not merely a series of reactions to alarms, but a healthy, regular pattern of renewal that helps us stay spiritually awake.
Comfort: You can find rest in Christ.
Challenge: Read this article on improving your sleep, and see if you can make any changes that might help.
Prayer: Merciful God, let me rest in your arms and find strength for my days. Amen.
Discussion: Do you get all the sleep you need? Why or why not?
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