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asleep at the wheel…

A few years ago I was travelling to visit someone in the hospital in another town that was about 2 hours away. I took one of our church members with me to help me stay awake on the drive home. I had lost quite a lot of sleep for one reason or another in the days preceding the trip to the hospital and felt like I would maybe fall asleep if I didn’t have some good conversation going. This guy liked to talk, so it seemed like a good plan. We got up early, talked all the way up to the hospital and had a great time of fellowship. We had our visit at the hospital and decided we would eat lunch at a favorite restaurant before we headed home.

We were both pretty hungry and finding ourselves at a buffet, well…we pigged out! After they rolled us out of the restaurant with rolls clutched in our hands, we proceeded to stop for gas and then hit the road. He offered to drive and I said I felt pretty good and declined his offer. We got out on the interstate and after about five miles I noticed we had a lot less discussion. After about 5 more miles I heard the faint whisper of snoring from the passenger seat of the car. I smiled and murmured, “Wimp,” and drove on.

A few more miles down the road I began to notice that the roadside had really changed a lot and there was a lake off to the side I hadn’t noticed on the way up. I was really enamored by that lake, and could not take my eyes off of it. Pretty soon I saw the biggest bass I had ever seen jump out of the lake and he jumped so high that he landed on top of the car — I woke up to sound of rocks hitting the bottom of my car as I road down the shoulder of that interstate leaning at least 45 degrees to the right. I had fallen asleep and I was dreaming about fish and a lake. I was immediately wide awake and yelled out, “Oh, no!” in perfect harmony with my partner in the passenger seat. He had heard the rocks, woke up, and his eyes were the size of silver dollars. I know because he was looking at me and yelling.

I finally got the car slowed down and back on the upright side of the shoulder and came to a stop. I looked at him and said, “You were supposed to keep me awake!” He said, “You shouldn’t have taken me to a buffet.” After much name-calling, and blame, we both admitted we had fallen into the slumber you cannot afford going 70 miles an hour on a busy interstate. From that moment on, we were both wide awake and ready and willing to keep the other from falling asleep. It meant our lives.

I fear we have gotten tired, fat, full, and gone to sleep in some ways. The watchman has let down his guard and we didn’t even know we had lost reality until we had a jolt to wake us up. It has happened to almost all of us. We should have stayed awake to keep us all awake and alert and even that has failed. It’s time to wake up and get back to the basics of our faith and get out of the dream world we have created. We need to do it now or we will surely crash. The good thing about it is we have landed on the shoulder — the shoulders of our Savior. Now is the time to wake up and encourage one another to greatness in the face of a world that is still asleep. God can wake them up….He woke us up! The old statement for fighters is to be lean and mean. The new statement for believers is to be lean and clean. Repent now. Don’t be found asleep at the wheel. You don’t want to be a part of that crash! Remember the words of Peter…

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift You up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. Be self-controlled (awake) and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

–1 Peter 5:6-9

The Pilgrimage continues…. David Warren

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