Within the prologue of the “Rules of Saint Benedict”, we find the following admonishment: “Let us get up then, at long last, for the Scriptures rouse us when they say: It is high time for us to arise from sleep. Let us open our eyes to the light that comes from God, and our ears to the voice from heaven that every day calls out this charge: If you hear His voice today, do not harden your hearts.” It is this challenge we are called to live out every single day. It is in this challenge we become victorious through Christ.
Are you asleep? Are you awake but still groggy from all that has happened in your life so far? We are called to arise from sleep, to look out at the world and see those hurting around us. Look at all those souls without any hope, without any love. Do you see these people in the world around you? How often do we take the time to stop, listen and give of ourselves? We too often walk on by those in need. We are busy, yes consumed even, by our own thoughts and pursuits. How many do we walk by everyday in the grocery store, at our place of work or even in our own neighborhoods? We are sleepwalking through life and we are missing the opportunities to love someone in Jesus’ name. Being a follower of Christ means to follow at all times no matter what that might look like or where it may lead. There is perhaps no greater tragedy than to profess Jesus with our lips and then to close our eyes.
Have you said ‘no’ to God lately? Are you saying ‘no’ to Him right now? Every time we are compelled to love someone in His name and do not do it, we say ‘no’ to Christ, the one who gave His life for us. Being a follower of Jesus isn’t about saying a magical prayer or getting dunked in a pool of water. It’s a call to a radical lifestyle of love. It’s a call to put away everything we once considered to be our own and to start giving to those in need. It’s about stopping and listening to a stranger on the street rather than stopping at the usual head nod or typical “Good Morning, how are you?” greeting. It’s about looking like Jesus to the world around you. We must not harden our hearts to the needs of others. This is our calling. This is how we follow Jesus.
How are you doing at waking up and seeing the need? Once you see that need, how are you doing at being the one that fills it? Are you reflecting Christ in everything that you do and say? If we would be followers of Christ then we will look different. The Bible calls us peculiar people; I love that! I don’t want to be normal. Normal is self-centered and comfortable. I want to live radically. I want to love others and live a life restless to do so. I want to follow Jesus. I want to love as He loved. Care to join me?