13 Stay awake, stand firm in your faith, be brave, be strong.
Late one cold December afternoon, I was driving our son home from preschool after a long day and having received some particularly upsetting news about a parishioner. I was distracted and exhausted. I was on a road that I drove regularly just a few miles from home. Seemingly out of nowhere, as happens when you’re not paying attention, a male deer leaped in front of us, bounced off the hood and flew over the top of the car. I woke up fast, but became immobilized. What should I do? There was severe damage to the front of the car but I decided to drive home despite a leaking radiator. Thanks to God, I was able to be strong and courageous, and arrived home safely.
The NRSV translation tells us to “keep alert.” The CEB charges us to “stay awake.” It seems to me that it’s when we are complacent that unexpected things throw us for a loop and knock us off our feet. We fall into a panic and fear overtakes us. We become immobilized, not knowing which way to turn, or what to do next. It’s in moments like that when we must cling to our faith and to our protector, trusting that God will not abandon us.
P.S. – Because it was in the days when children could still ride in the front seat, our son was convinced he saw one of Santa’s reindeer fly over us. And God smiled.
By Kathleen Stolz
For Pondering & Prayer
After two months of living with social distancing and face masks, many people seem to be complacent about the virus that awaits us outside our homes. We either are not alert to the danger of the invisible enemy or we are willing to take our chances. It is when we become comfortable or distracted that we are no longer awake to the things we should do to protect both ourselves and everyone else. Stay awake and be courageous so that you don’t become cavalier in thinking you can ignore science.
We pray for our children and for their creative ways of coping through this strange time. May we learn from them to see joy in every day and to stay awake to new possibilities through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.