Wake up! Wake up! Wake up!
Years ago, I remember reading a spiritual book speaking of only one thing – Wake up! While at the time I thought it was an interesting read, I did not anticipate the impact it would have on me. I am constantly asking the question, how am I conveniently asleep in my life?
This is where we find the disciples today in the Transfiguration. Luke tells us, “Peter and his companions had been overcome by sleep, but becoming fully awake” to experience the Transfiguration. The disciples had to wake up to the reality of what was going on. As normal, Peter’s reaction was wrong but at least he was awake. He responded to what was being revealed.
How do we help one another wake up to what Jesus has in store for us?
William Barclay, an older Scripture scholar, notes that we are typically awakened spiritually in one of three ways. He says,
Life is full of things designed to waken us.
(a) There is sorrow. Once Elgar said of a young singer, who was technically perfect, but quite without feeling and expression, "She will be great when something breaks her heart." Often sorrow can rudely awaken a [hu]man, but in that moment, through the tears, he [or she] will see the glory.
(b) There is love. Somewhere Browning tells of two people who fell in love. She looked at him; he looked at her--" and suddenly life awoke." Real love is an awakening to horizons we never dreamed were there.
(c) There is the sense of need. For long enough a [hu]man may live the routine of life half asleep; then all of a sudden there comes some completely insoluble problem, some quite unanswerable question, some overmastering temptation, some summons to an effort which he [or she] feels is beyond his [or her] strength. In that day there is nothing left to do but to "cry, clinging to heaven by the hems." And that sense of need awakens him [or her] to God.
His final piece of advice, “We would do well to pray, ‘Lord, keep me always awake to you.’”
The Transfiguration awakens us to a horizon not otherwise imagined. God’s glory shines out of the human being who contains it for us to encounter. This passage was chosen for the beginning of Lent to encourage us and strengthen us for our journey.
May our journey together be our wake up call to God’s presence among us. For the true way of the disciple is a constant awakening to God’s guidance.