The Christian journey should be carried out awake and fully aware. On the surface, you are probably saying, “Well, of course!”
But let me ask you, “Are you fully aware of God’s work in your life and around you right now, in this moment?”
I have read many authors who have impacted my life – brilliant minds that communicate truth in a way that inspires. One of those is Ben Johnson. In his book, Living Before God, he addressed this issue of living life unaware, calling it “life sleep.” He talked about how we go through our daily routine – get out of bed, get ready for the day, go through the day, come home, eat, relax, get ready for bed, get in bed – REPEAT. Our routine drones on and lulls us into a sense of oblivion. We may think we are awake when in reality, we are going through the motions without even thinking about what we are doing or why.
Part of becoming more like Jesus is remaining fully aware of God’s work all around us.
Several years ago I nearly died – literally died. A good friend of mine named Steve and I had just wrapped up a funeral (ironic I know). The memorial was held for a man who had been a flight instructor and had trained numerous people to fly. At the graveside, the plan was to have a fly over. As west Texas weather works, that morning turned off with cold temperatures and drizzle. But one committed soul (not necessarily bright soul) decided to brave the elements and honor his mentor with a fly over.
As we were leaving the grave site, we noticed the plane banking to make one more pass over the cemetery. The plane’s path would take it directly over us as we were walking and then right over the top of the tent at the grave. The plane continued to descend directly at us. About 50 yards in front of us, the plane hit power lines that stretched across the cemetery. One of the lines snapped and sparks began to fly. The wings of the plane dipped but recovered and was able to stay in the air. Had the plane come down, it would have taken us out – pushing us right into the very grave we just left.
Steve and I walked around the live wires dancing on the ground and got into the car.
We both sat down in shock. We looked at each other and I don’t remember who spoke first, but the question was asked, “Do you realize how close we just came to dying?” My heart was racing, the hair on my arms was standing and i was breathing hard. All of the sudden, life was raw. It was almost surreal. But in that moment, I was fully aware of my humanity and the fragile existence we call life. I was fully awake.
I am not suggesting that we should seek near-death experiences on a daily basis in order to live life fully alive, but I am asking the question, “Shouldn’t life be lived with our eyes open and with an awareness of God’s movement in it?”
A part of growing to be more like Jesus is being fully engaged in life – in all of life. We cannot allow ourselves to check out and fall asleep.
Wake up – life is happening and God is at work!