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Dopey Disciples

When my daughter, Hannah, was younger, she used to sleepwalk.  It was disconcerting to see her climb downstairs with her eyes wide open, knowing she was asleep.  Hannah gave every impression of being awake, but the reality was quite different.  The trouble was trying to persuade her to go back to bed which was difficult enough when she was awake!

In Luke’s account of the Transfiguration we read, ‘Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him.  (Luke 9:32)  Possibly these disciples were dopey because it was late: it says they came down from the mountain ‘the next day’  (9:37), or they might simply have been exhausted.  Something similar occurred in the garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22:45) before Jesus crucifixion.

I’m sure you appreciate how the joys and trials of life can make people weary – physically and faith-wise too.  What’s more, we can give the appearance of being awake, but we may be spiritually sleepwalking.  In this state we can miss so much.  Luke tells us it wasn’t until the disciples were fully awake that they saw Jesus’ glory.

Those who are drowsy in heart and mind fail to reflect on their experiences, or wrestle with their thoughts and doubts; they can also miss the glorious new thing that God wants to do in their lives, or the world at large.  The philosopher, Plato, said, ‘The unexamined life is not worth living’.

Maybe today, you should ask, ‘Am I fully awake?’

Prayer:  Lord, don’t let the rhythm of life rock me into a slumber.  Rather, keep me conscious of your purposes and glory.  Amen

Copyright Rev. Anthony D. Miles August 2005

Tony is a Superintendent Methodist Minister, broadcaster and author. He is a radio presenter with Premier Christian Radio and a regular contributor to BBC Radio 2's Pause for Thought (5.45 am). Tony is married with two children and four grandchildren.

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