I have two huge cravings in life, and they are constantly doing battle in my mind.
First, I crave to be busy doing anything.
Second, I crave to be lazy and do nothing.
Most of the time, my first craving helps me to get a lot done. My wife nicknamed me the energizer bunny...I told her that I never ever would wear pink and that she needed a different name for me...so she called me Turbo...and the name stuck.
I would wake up at 5 am just so I could see the sunrise. I like to get to work early and race to see what I could get done before the afternoon. By then, there was no point to stop for lunch because the day was mostly done, so I’d work until late afternoon. When I got hungry, I call it a day, and go home for dinner with the family.
After dinner, it’s home-school study time with the kids, or craft time, or game time, or a hike at the park, or playground...then get ready for bed...and with 5 kids, sometimes that takes a few hours.
I like to build little things, like last week we made wooden rubber-band guns and painted them and played target practice. The week before, we made blow dart guns (to shoot foam darts). The week before that, we built a tent using a parachute and PVC tubes. The week before that, we built a bike cart and raced around the subdivision.
We ride bikes, explore parks weekly, play at the beach in February in Texas because it’s so hot compared to Idaho. I love to go go go.
Then there’s the times where I don’t want to wake up. I don’t want to go to work, or eat, or move. I just want to sit and stare at nothing on Facebook/YouTube/Netflix. Doesn’t really matter what, just blah.
AND THEN I FEEL SO GUILTY FOR WASTING TIME!!!!
This Easter day, as I dwell upon The Master, and his teachings in the book of Matthew. I was reading in the 26th chapter of Matthew, beginning in verse 36:
36 ¶ Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.
37 And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.
38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.
I realized when reading, Peter, James, and Jon (the sons of Zebedee) were fishermen. Wonder, these men were at a time without electricity. They were accustomed to sleep as the sun went down. They just had a very emotional day with Jesus. They just finished the Passover celebration feast and have been traveling with Christ.
No previous mention to them staying awake at night, except the night someone was on the 4th watch while sailing across the waters when Jesus came to them upon the water. I can’t wonder but that this simple invitation, “Watch with me.” or to stay up and not sleep was new to them. It is possible that these fishermen had not been accustomed to being awake after the sun has set. This may have been the first time for them...and if so…
Jesus just asked them to do something that they never had done before. Not only that, but he asked them to do what he was doing. He asked them to be like him. These same men had been there at the mount of transfiguration...why would they expect anything less this night after hearing the master tell them that this day is accomplished for Christ to return to His Father.
Yet, they failed in this new assignment. Given an invitation to do, and they failed. Back to Matthew:
39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.
40 And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?
41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
This reading came to be very strongly how the master rebuked them for failing to do what they were asked, or more accurately, holding them accountable for their actions, yet loving them. He encouraged them and acknowledged that their hearts were right and they were still loved and accepted despite their failings. They were still right before him, though their bodies were tired and they had failed to do what they were told.
He wanted them to be with Him. Just like He wants us to be with Him. He can do it alone. He is the only one that can do it alone, but He wants us there with Him.
42 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.
43 And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy.
44 And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.
45 Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.
He loved them so. Having just come from the act of Atonement and having just redeemed these men and having paid the price for all of our failures, not only these three chosen Apostles, but each of us...He welcomed them to rest and repose knowing that just shortly he would be betrayed and go to suffer even more.
How we can learn from the master to accept our failings and to keep moving forward. How we can see that He loves and redeems us from our failings and is perfectly able to succor us and forgive us.
Some days, I feel like there is so much more good than I deserve and that the richest blessings of Heaven are being poured over me though I do not deserve them.
Other days I fail to find hope. I complain about my hardship and trials, and some days I ask Him to comfort me when I feel I am about to faint from the burdens. I complain and stress about my fears.
I heard a hymn today on Easter Sunday that caused me to weep at the realization of His Love. The Hymn is, “I Know That My Redeemer Lives” written by Lewis D. Edwards, 1858-1921.
The second verse reads:
He lives to grant me rich supply.
He lives to guide me with his eye.
He lives to comfort me when faint.
He lives to hear my word’s complaint.
He lives to silence all my fears.
He lives to wipe away my tears.
He lives to calm my troubled heart.
He lives all blessings to impart.
I witness that He is my center. When I let my heart be filled with His Teachings and His Example, I am able to stand up inside, and nothing can knock me over.
Not even my depression and inner mental struggles. No sickness, or delay in life can take away the light that lifts me up inside and helps me to keep going.
All the depression and struggle I pass through (and we all pass through) has an end. Not just occasionally does it end, but infinitely and eternally the depression and darkness will end and never return. After this life, there will be no more sorrow, no more pain or suffering because He lives, and we all will live again.
But for the time being, tomorrow is another day full of experiences. We will all experience joy and sorrow as we progress through this life, and I hope that sharing my struggles and my hope in Him as my center will help someone to find strength and assurance to keep moving forward.
I conclude my thoughts with his words to His apostles as they moved from the garden of Gethsemane with his invitation:
46 Rise, let us be going...