I always attend church on Saturday night as opposed to Sunday morning because I enjoy having one day that I don’t have to do anything. I like to wake up naturally without the assistance of the alarm clock and just let the day unfold.
This past weekend took a different turn. Instead of going to church on Saturday night I chose to attend a pity party.
It’s funny (not really) that when I sit at my desk and think about just relaxing in my bed and doing nothing, I imagine that it will be an enjoyable experience. In reality: not so much. When I woke up on Sunday morning I felt miserable – not physically – I only had one glass of wine, so it wasn’t a hangover. I was just emotionally wrung out. Just blech!
I knew what I needed to do. Before my feet hit the floor I prayed. I asked God to forgive me for allowing myself to get in such a funk. I know what the issue was (which I won’t share here) and it certainly didn’t warrant me taking to my bed. I know better. So, after I prayed I got up, washed my face – realized that I slept with my contact lenses in (ugh!), put on my running gear and went for a 9-mile run. After the run, I showered and did my grocery shopping. After that, I changed my clothes, put on my face and went to the 11:30 service at church.
I love it when I go to church and hear a sermon that is directly applicable to what is going on in my life. We had a guest speaker and the title of his message was, “Alertness in Prayer”. The text came from Luke 21:36 – Watch therefore and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.While I was on my run, I noticed that during the last 2 miles my mind and body shifted into auto-pilot. My body was tired and all I wanted was to finish. When on auto-pilot I’m only focused on the end result, not the path that gets me there. In the earlier miles I’m noticing traffic, birds, people, cars – everything.
During the sermon, the speaker mentioned the importance of staying alert and not allowing our lives to go on auto-pilot. We miss so much when we are not alert. We think we have everything under control and then BAM! You’re happy-go-lucky one minute and then depressed the next. The Bible also says in 1 Peter 5:8 that we should be sober and vigilant because the enemy is just waiting to devour us.I was devoured on Saturday night. I was in a crisis moment and instead of praying – I took to my bed. Which is why I made it my business to repent as soon as my eyes opened and made my way to church on Sunday morning. And again on Sunday night. Being in God's presence and in the presence of other believers is exactly what I needed to get me back on track.
That’s what being alert is about. Knowing that we cannot rest on our laurels. I have a relationship with God but if I don’t work on it and stay in communication with Him, I am leaving myself open for negativity and doubt.
Lesson learned. Stay alert. Stay vigilant.