Stay awake, for you do not know the hour. . .

Those who know me well know that I value my sleep. I’m a big fan of naps, going to bed early, and getting 8 (or more) hours of sleep a night. And right now, as pregnancy has brought on more fatigue, I find it hard to stay awake. I’m writing right now in the quiet of the chapel, asking the Lord to make these words His, and I really feel like I could use a nap. Sometimes, staying awake is just plain hard.

This is true in our spiritual lives too; it can be easy to get drowsy, to get self-centered, and to feel like we have it all under control. When I get spiritually sleepy, I get selfish, thinking that it’s by my own power and grace that my life is controlled. I see blessings as things I’ve earned. I see challenges as things for me to take care of, all by myself. I see accomplishments as signs of my own greatness. And when life gets so “me centered,” it gets exhausting.

After a particularly bad night of sleep (thank you crazy pregnancy dreams), I was drinking my coffee and doing my morning prayers. I was really tired. As I prayed about it with the Lord, I realized that my physical fatigue was a reminder to not get spiritually fatigued—to remember that in every moment of every day, it’s not me but God who showers me with blessings, carries me through challenges, and is glorified in my success. My fatigue in that moment reminded me that it’s not by my power and grace—but by His—that my life is animated.

May we all strive not to grow spiritually tired—to remember that all is a gift, all is His, and that our lives are not ours to control, but ours to show others the glory of God. And when we live our lives recognizing our own need for the Lord, we are free to not be exhausted by our own “I can do it myself” mentality and more able to pour our energy into what the Lord is calling forth from us.

As we embark on this journey of Advent, I would encourage you to find some tangible way to remember how much you need the Lord. Maybe it’s a simple “Lord, I need you,” in the morning, or an extra Holy Hour during the week to take a step back with Jesus. Whatever it is, know of my prayers for you this Advent season, as you strive to stay awake.



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