the story room

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Alive

I never gave it much thought before, but I realized this week that I almost always wake up in the mornings thinking about whatever it was I fell asleep thinking about the night before. Sometimes that means I wake up continuing a prayer I fell asleep praying. Other times, it's meant that I wake up preoccupied with the same cares I fell asleep mulling over. I don't think I had ever before considered the impact that my last waking thoughts of the night would have on my whole next day.

I've been working on a project with a friend the past month, and we've been asking people to share prayers with us that have been meaningful to them. One of my professors shared a number of prayers that are traditionally prayed right before one falls asleep. What really struck me about these prayers was the way they all likened sleep to death and waking to resurrection. And I appreciate that imagery so much because in the daily rhythms of waking and sleeping and waking, I find myself keenly aware of my participation in the larger rhythm humanity finds itself in: living and dying and waiting to rise.

For the past few days, I've tried to be deliberate about keeping these things in mind as I fall asleep. So, as I turn off the lights and lay in the dark, I think about the darkness of death. And as I try to calm my racing thoughts and surrender myself to sleep, I think about the stillness of death that I will some day be forced to surrender to. I know that as I lay there asleep, I will no longer be able to protect myself like I do in my waking hours, and I entrust myself to the hands of God, knowing that my very life rests in Him. And I try to find myself in the story that we're all found in.

What amazes me about all this, though, is the way I wake up. The first time I tried falling asleep like this, the first thought to enter my mind the next morning was, I'm alive...I'm alive. After I got out of bed, I took a walk in the brisk autumn air, and as I walked the trail and watched the sun shine through the trees, my breath was taken away, and all I could think was, "Oh God, I'm alive!"

It was a small thing, I know, but I caught a glimpse of the resurrection. And the entire day, I was awed by the fact that I was breathing, thinking, seeing, feeling...living. And as I went to lay down that night, returning my thoughts to humanity's weakness and helplessness, I couldn't help but think more about our participation in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ; the life that will await us in the morning; and the life that will call us even from our graves.

We're alive.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Paulie said...

Interesting thought Er. I find it that when I pray as I fall alseep that I sleep better then if I just not pray at all...hmmm...I don't know if that is good or not. :P You look good with your hair curlie...you look like a girl with braces...:P...jk. But to be honest you look pretty my friend. Have a great night and may God continue to bless you and your ministry to serve Him.
Love Always,
Paulie

02 October, 2005 20:05  

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