Thursday, November 27, 2014
Thursday, November 27, 2014
“Therefore, keep awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly. And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.’
Crisp air awakens my cheeks as I step into the starless night, the sky shrouded in low November clouds.
It does not matter. Skylight is not needed. Brisk air awakens inner light and raises my eyes to the sky to give thanks late on this eve of Thanksgiving.
“Thank you,” I say aloud in the darkness. “Thank you for cold winter air that makes me glad I am alive.
“Thank you for awakening my heart. Thank you for the gratitude that springs suddenly to life and fills me.
“Whatever You are, so mysterious, so far beyond anything I can think or imagine, thank you that my soul is alive to this moment, that my eyes search the dark night sky in wonder that You should come to me and that I should know … this joy, this love.”
Stay awake. That’s what Jesus says. Here, under the night sky, in an empty parking lot, I am awake, and there is nothing in me but love and gratitude for life--and for the gift of this wakefulness.
How did it come? Why am I awake to love and life now and not always?
Were I so awake at all times my anger would never get the best of me, my patience would be unflappable, my heart would always flow with grace, eager to bless those who come my way whether they like me or not.
This is what I would be were I always awake to this mysterious love within me. But these moments come and go, and it seems I am powerless to produce them because they under the command of a Mystery I do not control.
Jesus commands us to stay awake. You do not know when I will come to you, he says. But I cannot wake myself. It is his coming that awakens us.
The Love he is awakens this same Love that lives in us, the Love that is our truest self.
Once you have been awakened to this Love, you want to stay awake and watch for every small way it comes to you that you may know the joy of communing with him, knowing what God from all eternity wants you to know.
We keep falling asleep. But maybe we can work to stay awake. Maybe we can cultivate a silence of heart unfilled by the distractions of work and entertainments. Maybe we can stand in silence under the night sky. Maybe we can listen to those who speak to us without worry about what to say next.Maybe we listen to music that opens the door of our souls.
Maybe we can receive each day and moment that comes, not insisting that it be like yesterday or anticipating all the ways tomorrow might be better. Maybe we can receive each day for what it is … with whatever challenges and graces it brings.
Maybe this will keep us awake to the Love that comes on November nights.
Pr. David L. Miller