Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Confession: Good for the Soul by Martin Wiles

A short nap has the power to refresh, and I’m one that has no trouble taking one.

Naps run in my family…I’m not sure that they aren’t genetically transmitted. No more than five minutes after my grandfather would sit down, his head would begin to bobble and his eyes would close. My father followed suit. Where they were sitting was immaterial. Lack of motion equaled closed eyes and a short nap. I’ve inherited the gene. Straight chair? Recliner? Not an issue. And studies have shown what I’ve always known: naps are beneficial. People who take short power naps are more productive.

Spiritual naps, however, are different. Jesus’ disciples took a snooze while he was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, but their physical siesta was indicative of a spiritual snoozing problem and received a rebuke from him. Then he returned to the disciples and found them asleep. He said to Peter, “Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour (Matthew 26:40 NLT)?”

Our need for others is a vital part of staying awake spiritually. The disciples may not have known how much they desperately needed Jesus and each other. After all, they had previously argued among themselves about which of them was the greatest. Failure to stay awake placed them in the precarious position of falling into temptation.

Confessing my sins to God and other conscientious believers reminds me of my weaknesses and of my tendency to fall asleep spiritually if I’m not careful. Sharing my spiritual battles with fellow believers also tweaks my alertness level-making me more energetic, and also enhances the spiritual journey of the one sharing with me. I’m not a Lone Ranger, and when I try to be I’ll quickly find myself taking a nap.

Lean on others to help you stay awake spiritually.

Prayer: Thank You Lord Jesus for not leaving us alone to live the Christian life. Thank You for the presence of Your Spirit and the companionship of others.

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