“For it is important that awake people be awake,
or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep;
the signals we give--yes or no, or maybe--
should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.” - William Stafford
Confession: I love to sleep. Outside of a crying child, there is little this world can throw at me to keep me awake if I feel like going to sleep. Stress cannot keep me up at night. Worry is no match for me. Coffee - psh, please. The power of caffeine regularly succumbs to my outlandish sleeping abilities. I love to sleep.
And I think I know why. I am an escapist by nature. There are no demands on me when I am asleep - no problems to solve, no boxes to check. Just dreams to dream (though I usually don’t remember my dreams - seriously, nothing gets through my slumber).
What I don’t like is when I feel asleep while I’m awake. I don’t mean tired. I mean checked out. We’ve all done it. Lived for the next dream, the next thing. Allowed our heavy eyes to pull our thoughts and imagination away from the reality of the person or task right in front of us.
“And it’s hard to stay awake/when everyone you meet/seems to be asleep/and you wonder if you’re missing a dream” -Ben Gibbard, Death Cab for Cutie (song: Bixby Canyon Bridge)
And then there’s Jesus. Then there’s the Kingdom of God. There’s the reality of what I have been saved from and awakened to.
It is important that awake people be awake. The greatest dream is right in front of us - it is the promise that Jesus is indeed making this whole wide world new. It is important that we recognize the gravity and reality of the interplay between darkness and light. For those of us who have seen the light are still left with the decision to chase after it or not. Will we be clear? With clear eyes will we look for the light in our lives? Will we look for evidence of light, of God’s kingdom, in the lives of our family, friends and neighbors? Will we stay awake?
"Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” - 1 Peter 5:8