Sunday, October 19, 2014
31 Days of Courage: The Courage To Wake Up
That old prophet Isaiah, he’s blowing reveille this morning.
Indeed, the alarm to wake up keeps coming. It passes through all the books of the Great Book, right to the end. Especially at the end.
Here I am, tapping words down in a language unknown to Isaiah, in a time when drowsiness and sleep have a firm hold on this suffering world. And I of all people, one who needs to rub the sleep out of my own eyes, here I stretch from sleep for a few paragraphs on a topic that would fill the volumes of every book in every library. Perhaps this particular post is really just for me.
How often have I lived through a day, asleep to the truth of my purpose there? That the glory of God, the souls of men, and indeed the growing and gracing of my own soul are at stake while I remain asleep.
Asleep, making breakfast, without gratitude and awareness of the gracious hand that prospered the wheat of the earth so I could have my bagel.
Turning the ignition in my car, heedless to the One who made the mind of man so great that he could design such a useful machine.
Living and working with other mortals, forgetting they are eternal beings, to be treated with honor. To be cared for and understood. To be forgiven. And to seek forgiveness from.
Indeed, to be awake to the brevity of life, to its meaning down to the peeling of the apple at lunch. To be alive and aware that this world and everything in it is a gift of God. That even my worst pain drives me to Him, and will not allow me to go down to a deathly slumber.
To vomit up the sleeping pills of materialism, human accolades and silly dreams of comfort so I can spend this aging body in the pursuit of lasting reality.
To open my eyes, pull off the covers, and be willing to get out of the hazy warmth of just following the rules and stepping into the brisk awakening air of bold living. I hear you Isaiah, I hear the bugle call.
And I hear my ancient brother the Apostle Paul, through these sleepy ears:
“Be very careful then, how you live- not as unwise, but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5: 16
And just one verse before this he says:
“Wake up O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” (vs. 15)
Very convicted I am this morning, as I push aside the dullness in me. I will sing loud today at church, and be glad even in my sorrows. And with thanksgiving for my coffee, and my struggles and the leaves all over my front lawn, waiting to be raked.
When the test comes as it surely will, I pray I will hear the bugle boy of God in my ears for the sake of those who are dead asleep. That come what may, I will have courage to live the Gospel, even if thought a fool. That one day many will stand with me, by grace alone, by the blood of Christ alone, before the Almighty One.
Awake and alive for all eternity.
Your friend on the pilgrim road,