Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Kinds of Sleep

"Behold, the Bridegroom comes at midnight, and blessed is that servant whom He shall find watching,
and again, unworthy is the servant whom He shall find heedless. Beware, therefore, O my soul, do not
be weighed down with sleep, lest you be given up to death, and lest you be shut out of the Kingdom. But
rouse yourself crying: Holy, Holy, Holy, art Thou, O our God..."

As we sang this all week, preparing for Pascha (in the Orthodox Church, that's Easter, which this year is one week later than Western Christian Easter--we'll be celebrating it this Sat. night into the wee hours of the a.m. on Sun.) I kept trying to figure out what it means.

Most people I know don't get *enough* sleep, and are already quite busy doing good things.

Then I began to think about how even during busy-ness, perhaps especially GOOD busy-ness--helping other people, fulfilling "religious" obligations, being A RESPONSIBLE ADULT--it is possible to be stuck in various trances that represent a certain kind of waking sleep.

For instance, there's the "must-stay-on-track" super-efficiency trance in which one becomes closed-hearted to interruptions and surprises--even though much of Jesus' ministry took place as people interrupted Him. There's the perfectionism trance, the "everything-depends-on-me" trance, the "don't-have-time-to-pray" trance, or the "so-involved-with-checking-off-everything-on-my-prayer-list (the 'pleases', the 'sorries,' etc.)--that-there's-no-time-for agenda-less-ly-basking-in-God's-presence-for-even-a-minute" trance...

Trance--any way of functioning that keeps one from turning aside from one's mental or behavioral accustomed routes to see why that bush over there is burning but not consumed!

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