Back in March the news reported a case in which an air traffic controller at Reagan International Airport fell asleep on the job around midnight. Two commercial jets approaching the airport intending to land could not get a response from the tower. They even called on the phone and still no response. Luckily both flights landed safely. I think we are all grateful for that and that we were not on those two flights that night. Certainly this could have been a life-threatening situation.
I think all of us can think of a time when we fell asleep at the wrong time. I remember once I dozed off during a particularly long testimony at a funeral in the deaf church where I was serving as pastor. It was quite embarrassing to wake up, realizing everyone was waiting for me to get up and finish the funeral.
Jesus was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night before his death. He asked three of his closest friends to pray with him but instead of praying they fell asleep. Three times they fell asleep during Jesus’ most agonizing moments with God. If they had stayed awake surely they could have been a comfort and a strength for Jesus.
We can fall asleep literally during important times and not so important times of life. But more subtle are times when we figuratively fall asleep by ignoring important issues of our faith. God is often like a jet pilot calling to us in the control deck of our life but we are rushing through our prayers, ignoring God’s warnings and leading and living as if we were asleep on the job.
What is our job? To love the Lord your God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. To do anything other than that is to be asleep on the job. We only get one life to live and we need to be awake, alive and obedient to God’s direction for our life. What message is God calling to you? How is God trying to get your attention? Keep awake and focused on God’s will for your life, and you will never sleep through God’s plan for your life.