I was in another world, transfixed, almost hypnotized by the glimmer of lights.  An unconscious droning played in my ears, a melodious, humming lullaby.  I knew where I was, but then again I didn’t know where I was.  Time passes, but I’m not fully assured as to how much has passed. I am in a state of flux but my conscious mind is sound asleep! “Are you asleep?” cries Beth. “Wake up Darryl. Pull over and I’ll drive.”  I’m awakened! Just in time to hear the “Grrrrrrrrr,” of the warning grooves on the side of the interstate!  I’m awake enough now to act with reason and soon pull over to let Beth take the wheel. Perhaps one of the worst feelings is this subconscious state of being literally asleep while yet you are indeed operating a motor vehicle.  I once fell asleep driving on my way back to Western Kentucky.  I had a 7:00am class, but I left Birmingham around 10:00pm. By the time I got to the Tennessee-Kentucky border around 1:30am, I was driving but also in Nah-Nah Land. Thank goodness for an eighteen-wheeler who laid down on the horn! What a wakeup call! I immediately pulled over into the rest area at the state line and slept till almost 7:00am. Amazingly, my body made it to class, but my brain didn’t.

                I think the concept of sleeping while driving is a good illustration of the state we are in as we endeavor to live and operate in this world while fast asleep to our spiritual surroundings. Truly, God encourages us in many verses to wake up! He is constantly imploring us to arise out of our stupor and be watchful. Luke 21:36  But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

                One benefit to being awake and alert is receiving the blessings that await us.  Peter, James and John were having difficulty staying awake on the mountain where Jesus was transfigured but when they awoke look what they witnessed. Luke 9:32-33b  Now Peter and those who were with him were heavy with sleep, but when they became fully awake they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him.  (33)  And as the men were parting from him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah…  It truly is amazing how much one misses while sleeping!  I’m overwhelmed by how much more beautiful a sunrise is compared to a sunset.  It’s almost as if God designed it that way to teach us the importance of rising early.   There’s been a few occasions when Beth wanted me to watch a movie with her, only to have me sleep during the entire show. When I awake, she’s reminded me, “You should have stayed awake, it was a wonderful story.”

                Consider also the times when we naturally need sleep but should stay awake. Again, the disciples, Peter, James and John, are tired and weary from the long day of preparation for the Passover. It is quite natural that any man would want to sleep, especially when the conditions are favorable. However, it is a critical moment! And Jesus implores them to think about how great a danger it is to sleep! Mat 26:40-45  And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? (41)  Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak…(43) And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy… (45) Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Sleep and take your rest later on. See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Sleep happens sometimes so very naturally and seems nearly impossible to resist, like driving at night or after a long hard day.  Jesus, however teaches us that you can sleep later! There are times when you must stay awake and be vigilant! Satan is waiting for us to go to sleep!  He wants us to sleep.  He knows that when we are asleep our minds are checked out, we are vulnerable to deception and poor judgement.  When we are sleeping is a time we can run off the road and be destroyed! So then our Savior implores; “WAKE UP!”


Darryl Fuller