Romans 13:11-12 – Besides this, knowing the time, it is already the hour for you to wake up from sleep, for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over, and the daylight is near, so let us discard the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. (HCSB)
When I think of someone sleepwalking, I have the Hollywood vision – someone gliding through the house, arms outstretched. In recent years a certain medication has been in the news because those who took it were sleepwalking, sleep-driving, and even sleep-shopping! Dictionary.com defines sleepwalking as the act or state of walking, eating, or performing other motor acts while asleep. While Christians have been physically awake, I am afraid that we have been sleepwalking far too long. There is a story about a man who had a broken cuckoo clock – sometimes it chimed correctly, sometimes it didn’t know when to stop. One night this man was entertaining some of his drinking buddies when the cuckoo bird began to announce the time, but rather than stopping at twelve, that little bird kept right on going. One of the buddies present, jumped up, grabbed his coat, and began to scramble for the door. When his friends called out to him, he shouted back “I need to hurry … its later than its ever been before!” Paul is telling us in Romans 13:11-12 that its later than its ever been before. We need to wake up from our sleepwalking. Judges 16 tells about Samson being physically awake but totally asleep to Delilah’s schemes. Just as Samson needed to wake up to what Delilah was doing towards his ruination, we need to wake up to what God is doing towards His return. Romans 13:13 tells us to wake up to our obvious sins, to wake up to our hidden sins, and to wake up to our attitude sins. So many of us were wide-awake and active as new Christians, but as Christ lingers, we have begun to loiter. We talk about what should be done, what needs to be done, and even what we plan to do, but Benjamin Franklin said, “Well done is better than well said” and Dante Alighieri said “The secret to getting things done is to act!” Now is the time to wake up from our sleep! Lord, I don’t want to be sleepwalking through life. I don’t want to become so focused on getting through today that I forget about eternity. Sleepwalkers have no conscious control over their actions but help me today to be aware of my surroundings and my actions. As that out of control cuckoo clock reminded the drunken man, help me to be aware that it is later than its ever been before.