Several years ago, and a few years into some life changing events, my daughter invited me to a weekend conference for women. I remember that it was lovely, all female energy, great talks and music, but something profound happened to me there. I did not sleep, at all.
On morning number one after a long sleepless night, I was almost relieved to get up and attend classes. All day our group joked about insomnia. When we wound things up a little earlier that night, I planned to crash and sleep hard. After the series of sessions and a service in the evening with no sleep, I was exhausted.
I knew as soon as my head touched the pillow though, I was in for another long night.
So, I prayed. Usually, good positive prayer in the dark knocks me right out.
Hours later, I was still awake. In the middle of the night, I got up quietly, since I was sharing a room with my daughter, and did all the bedtime rituals again. With the air turned down to cool the room, I got back in bed and shut my eyes. Clearing my mind, I thought of all the good things in my life,
and how scratchy the blanket felt.
When at 7 am I was still wide awake, I stumbled into the shower and blasted my sleepy eyes with water.
That afternoon, during the last session of the conference, our group found seats and stood for worship. The lights dimmed, words appeared on the screen, and we began to sing in unison with hundreds of women. I was so moved hearing their voices fill the auditorium. Tears streamed down my face. Then the lyrics of the next chorus appeared, and I burst out laughing. The song was about being awake.
I turned to my daughter laughing and said, “I am awake!” “Wait, why am I still awake?”
On the way home, my daughter turned to me and said, “I think God is trying to wake you up.”
Over the next couple of days, I thought about what she said. In some ways, I had been in rest mode for a while.
Writing happily, living alone, I had finally banished immediate conflict from my life. I was refreshed and writing. However necessary and rejuvenating rest mode was, it was time to wake up.
Wide Awake is the next step beyond discovering and working in that area that fulfills us and blesses others. It is also a full life, an ongoing purpose and the journey with others.
We all need to refill our tanks, but then get back out there.
“Wake up and Christ will shine in you…” Ephesians 5:14
Go experience life. Participate with your families. But we must also deal with broken relationships, difficulty, and allow God to heal hearts fully.
My work had just begun really. It was not complete.
I think that is one of the reasons why we are here. To discover our purpose, but keep moving forward. It is a journey, not a destination and it is not alone.
Wide awake. What would it look like for you?
Ask yourself, “Am I happy?”
“Do I have a profession or a project that moves me?”
“When I look in the mirror, do I feel good about who is looking back?”
“Am I stuck in a rut or hiding out?”
Is it time to wake up? Is there something in your life incomplete? Some purpose unfulfilled?
Revived and writing,
You might also enjoy: Magic moments in an ordinary life.
or this section on living awake.
…13But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for everything that is illuminated becomes a light itself. 14So it is said: “Wake up, O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” 15Pay careful attention, then, to how you walk, not as unwise but as wise,…