“Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. Truly I say to you, he will dress himself for service and have them recline at table, and he will come and serve them. If he comes in second watch, or in the third, and finds them awake, blessed are those servants! But know this, that if the master of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have left his house to be broken into. You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
Awake. This word sticks out to me like a sore thumb. Every morning my alarm goes off at 6 o’clock in the morning, and though my eyes are open, I can assure you that I am not awake by any means. My mind is still in fantasyland, my socks are usually inside out, and I truly am lucky to put on my clothes the right way. But when I step outside to go on my morning run, and become physically active, I feel alive. My mind starts to wake up, my eyes are opened wide, and I begin to think and pray about all kinds of things. In fact, I feel the most alive at 6:15, just as the sun peaks over Agua (one of our many volcanoes here) and illuminates the sky with a wide array of vibrant colors, frigid air racing past my face, than I do at 3 in the afternoon. I feel alive, because I am moving, running, and working hard. I am fully awake, because I am fully active and wholly dedicated to the purpose set before me. Now normally, I hate running; all I have ever been passionate about is dance. But being in a country, and in a facility, where I really cannot find the space, time, or isolation to let my creative genius go wild, running has been my outlet. When I run, I seek the Lord, I listen to worship music, I look at the divine creation that surrounds me, and God speaks to my soul. This pictures paints a striking similarity to what my life should look like as a follower of Christ. I do not want to be a Christian that resembles who I am at six a.m.: Delirious, drowsy, and barely able to get dressed. I want to be a Christian that resembles myself at 6:15, while I am running and taking in the beautiful creation around me. I need to be active in my ministry. There shouldn’t be an off switch, but so often I make a way to find one, and I shut myself down. I walk by homeless people all of the time, without giving them a second thought. I look at people as people, instead of souls who are in desperate need of a Savior, but I am called to a higher standard, that requires me to have eyes to see, and ears to hear the spiritual needs around me. I am called to be an active disciple, running the race God has set before me, in order that I might gain Christ, and be found in Him (Philippians 3:8b-9a). I need to be running in constant pursuit of knowing Jesus and making him known. Every word I speak, and every action I take has the power to turn people to Christ, or away. When I am awake, through the empowerment of the Spirit and his strength, God lives and shines in and through me. But when I am sluggish, and struggling to rise up to do the work God calls me to do, I am of no use. I forget to clothe myself in the whole armor of God, and with eyes half opened, I am bound to trip and fall. Jesus, awaken my soul, and revive my heart. I do not want to be sluggish, I want to be alive and driven by the fire you are kindling in my soul. Keep my eyes open, Father.
Application: As I was sitting here and writing this IBS, my sister, Caitlyn, was also sitting by me and writing her IBS. We, unknowingly, both began to write about our daily morning runs, and we decided to do a joint application. At the beginning and end of our race, we are going to look at each other and say, ‘ready,’ so that we do not forget that our race is never over.