Waking up (Luke 24:13-35; Easter 3A)
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It does not surprise me that our son, Jared, a young man now with a beautiful family, is a morning person. He always has been.
At one point he was such a morning person that he wanted everyone in the house to know about it. When he was two or three, Jared went through a period of announcing his arrival to the day. On some days, we would hear his public cry much earlier than we desired. From his room, he yelled at the top of his voice, “I waked up!”
It went on like that for several weeks. I remember suggesting to my wife that we have him examined to see if this strange behavior was normal. Being awake, aware of, and appreciative of the new day was somehow deeply thrilling for our son.
Two people have an experience of awakening after talking to a stranger. The stranger turns out to be Jesus, who just happens to be in the business of waking people up. In his book Awareness, Anthony De Mello suggests that many people live their entire lives asleep, without ever waking up. “In order to wake up,” he writes, “the one thing you need the most is not energy, or strength, or youthfulness, or even intelligence. The one thing you need most of all is the readiness to learn something new.”
One way to practice waking up is to tend to the space between sleep and wakefulness each morning. The space between coming out of sleep and being fully awake is ripe. It is filled with dream messages that can enlighten.
Additionally, one’s inner voice may be heard more clearly in a space not yet filled with the voices of others. Moreover, this is a time when the mind has not gone into hard think mode. It is still soft and open to matter we may too easily reject via our hard-nosed critical reflection. Finally, it is easier for us to hear God’s voice when neither the voices of others nor our own voice has taken center stage.
Dare to wake up, on purpose, everyday.