Keeping Awake in Our Faith

“And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.” (Mk. 13:37)

I was in Galveston taking a kayak trip. After two hours of paddling, I was tired. Because there weren’t any boats on the horizon and the waters were calm, I decided to take a short nap.

I was awakened when I felt my boat starting to rock and picking up speed. When I got my bearings, I quickly discerned that I’d drifted into the San Luis Pass while asleep. I looked around and saw that an oil freighter was headed toward me. From land, it may look like these freighters are barely moving. When you’re in a forty-pound plastic boat, you realize they’re hauling. If I’d stayed asleep for another fifteen minutes, I could’ve been in trouble.

Falling asleep in a kayak isn’t wise. Nor is falling asleep in our life.

In today’s scripture, Jesus implores us to stay awake. His warning will not make any sense unless we understand that it’s possible to lose our days, our health, our relationships, our work, our faith, and our very life because we’ve fallen asleep and not seen where we were drifting.

Today’s lesson encourages us to ask this question: Do we need to wake up to how we are living, speaking, acting, or taking care of ourselves or others? When we fall asleep, either from deadening routine or mind-numbing behaviors or unhealthy habits, we can—like I did in Galveston Bay—be heading towards danger.

Jesus cries, “Keep awake,” because He doesn’t want us to drift towards some “freighter” that could utterly swamp all that’s important to us.

Reflection Questions:

  1. Are you “awake” right now in your life and faith? If so, what helps you to remain alert and vigilant? If not, where could you be drifting?
  1. We all need people who will tell us if they think we need to wake up because we are or could be drifting into trouble. Do you have people who do that for you? If not, how come you’re putting yourself at risk?
  1. Is there someone you know and care for who is dozing and drifting into danger? If so, how could you, with love, speak to them?

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