I fell asleep at my desk

asleep-1296292_960_720I fell asleep at my desk.

Not for long.  Just a few seconds.

It was that wasteland time between 1 and 2pm, after a big lunch, after the caffeine had worn off.

My eyelids started to flutter, and then close, and then…maybe a minute had passed.  I just drifted off, into one of those lazy flights of escape.

Sounds like a guy who needs a nap, right? Well, there’s a problem with that.

I gave up naps for Lent.

It’s been hard!  No naps, except on Sundays.  On Sundays I get to sleep my guts out.  (Not till after church).

The rest of the week, I’m challenged to stay awake during the day.

I’ve always grabbed little naps here or there.  20 minutes before a meeting, 30 minutes before dinner, that kind of thing.

But lately, it seemed like my naps were getting longer.  I was using them as an escape from the busy real world. Instead of giving me energy, they seemed to be sapping it.

I decided that maybe I could give that time to God, instead.

Remember Jesus, in the Garden?

40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”  –Matthew 26:40-41

I want to stand watch with Jesus.  I want my spirit to be willing.

But, alas, my flesh has proven to be weak on a couple occasions this Lent.  Sitting in my living room, I’ve found the need to close my eyes, just for a couple minutes.  And here, at my desk, the day’s work just seems too much to handle.

I take my eye off the prize, and then Zzzzzzzzzz.

As vigilant as you and I long to be, we may be destined to fall asleep on the job, to lose our focus, to give into our weaknesses.  It’s bound to happen every once in a while.

But if Lent accomplishes anything, it reminds us that being a living sacrifice for God does not mean achieving perfection.

It means being willing to take up the cross, even if we’ll fall.

It means following faithfully the path of Christ, even if we’ll stray.

It means living with our eyes wide open…

Well, at least most of the time.

Have a great week,

Mitch

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Dyeing for the love of it

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At the children’s Easter Carnival I had the best booth.

Sure, there were egg races and bracelet making and several other exciting stations…

but I was at the egg dying booth. Score!

It was three tables long, with pink, blue, green, yellow, and orange cups, ready to receive boiled eggs.

There were white crayons for drawing names, and special Easter stickers for decorating.

From the moment the event began, our booth was the busiest.  Kids excitedly dunking their eggs, and only cracking a few.

I was heart warmed to see how many kids knew what they were doing, using the old wire tool, or the newfangled plastic tool to escort their eggs from one cup to the next.

It had been 20 years since I’d dyed eggs, but I was happy to see that such traditions live on in many of today’s families.

There was only one problem.

Those darn eggs just wouldn’t get dark.

I don’t know why, either.

The mixture was made with vinegar and water, just like the package suggested. The water was room temperature, also as instructed, even though I remember a lot more vinegar and a lot hotter water when I was a kid.

Anyway, the pink looked pink.  The yellow looked off-white.  The blue and the green looked vaguely blue and green.  The orange looked kind of yellow.

The colors were kind of wimpy.

Not that anyone was complaining.  The kids had a great time.

But some of them left their eggs in the cups for a good 15 minutes trying to get darker, with little discernable difference.

Here’s why I was a little annoyed:  Easter is supposed to be vivid.  Bright.  Deep and colorful.

I was reminded of Holy Thursday services that failed to engage the congregation fully.

And Good Friday services that seemed just a little dull.

And Easter services that seem to be a little less…vivid.

What if that’s what Holy Week is like this year?  Like Easter eggs that are a little less wild and a little more mild.

What if it fails to entertain?  What if the sermon falls flat?  What if the resurrection seems like just another old story?

I don’t know what I’m worried about.  Those beautiful kids at our Easter Carnival had the time of their lives.

They weren’t looking for perfection, or drama, or brilliant colors.

They were thrilled to participate.

(They dyed for the love of it,)

Meanwhile, if you have any concerns about Holy Week being a little weak this year, remember it’s not about the flair of the presentation.

It’s about participating,

and it’s about Jesus,

(who died for the love of it.)

 

Have a great Holy Week,

Mitch

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