"And as he slept...an angel touched him and said 'arise and eat'." Slumber comes more easily for some of us than it does for others. Yet we all sleep, and many of us sleep through life itself. We often sleep through the urgency of the moment, missing its import...missing our children's game...or their lives. We wake up as they are going out the door - or after they are gone; in their place is an empty longing in our heart. In looking back we see it. We see what should have been. We see the tyranny of the urgent that blocked our view of what was important. The job could have waited, but it screamed like a spoiled child and we gave in to its demands, and our more silent child went to a band concert or recital without us; or an elderly parent sits at home waiting for a Sunday afternoon visit that never comes. And one day, their house is empty and the opportunity is no more.
I find myself these days seeking to shake the slumber from my soul. Moments I have slept through lie scattered about me like dirty socks on the floor. And I'm wrestling again with the tyranny of the urgent. There's the friend I should have visited in the hospital or, afterwards, as she recovered at home. Each day brought the resolve to visit - the desire to - and each day brought the urgent...and suddenly she is back at work and my heart did not find its feet when she needed it to walk her way. I told her of my heart, but she did not see it. It was busy with the urgent.
We all have such decisions to make...decisions of priority...decisions refereeing the competition of the moment between two wrestlers. Decisions that require wakefulness. Christ always walked wide-eyed on earth...always listened for the true message the moment held and went with it: pausing on an urgent journey in order to visit with the woman healed of an issue of blood; turning aside from his most urgent trip to Jerusalem to eat at Zacchaeus' house; noticing the soft sound of the widow's mite as she dropped it in the offering cup...awake to the meaning it held.
The moment measured the reach of Christ's life in many ways. As He lived the moment fully awake, and seized its message, His purpose and destiny unfolded upon earth. The holy bread of life ever baked on His coals. Daily, He awakend and ate and found strength for the long journey that ever lay before Him.
"And the angel of the Lord came again the second time, and touched him, and said, 'Arise and eat: because the journey is too great for you'. And he arose and did eat...and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God." I Kings 19: 7-8