Thrive: Couldn’t You Stay Awake with Me? – Cynthia Insko


Then Jesus returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter.
—Matthew 26:40

I love the beach. I don’t go often, but when I do, I pay close attention. Engaging my senses, I take it all in. I smell the musty, fishy breeze, taste the salty air, feel the sand between my toes, listen to the rhythmic crash of waves on the shore, and delight in the sight of the aqua and deep blues of the gulf.

A few weeks ago I delighted in waking up before daylight and walking down to the sand to view the stars in the night sky and the rare lunar eclipse glowing orange-red in the west. I fixed my eyes on the moon, not wanting to miss any details. Then I saw something I had never seen: the dark sky turning to day across the horizon. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin says, “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” That dawn I savored an unforgettable experience.

Matthew’s account of the last days of Jesus’ life is full of sensory detail: the scent of a broken jar of fragrant perfume, the taste of the bread and wine at the Last Supper, the feel of a betraying kiss on the cheek, the sound of a rooster crowing. And yet amidst the story is Jesus’ plea to his closest friends to pay attention, to be with him, fully present in the pain and the mystery of it all. “Couldn’t you stay awake with me just one hour?” he laments. Our Emmanuel, God With Us, asks his loved ones, “Be with me.”

The Blood Moon appeared over the horizon as sure as the sun rose, but only a few were awake to see its fullness and shadow. Are we sleepwalking through life—distracted, busy, anxious, and missing God With Us? Perhaps we are walking through a great Mystery and don’t even notice it there.

How will you pay close attention to the nearness of God this week?

Let she who has eyes see. Let he who has ears hear.

Cynthia Insko_smCynthia Williams Insko is a minister at First Baptist Church, Frankfort, Kentucky. She previously served as campus minister in Kentucky and Alabama. A graduate of Samford University and Beeson Divinity School, Cynthia is mom to three teenagers, and in her spare time, she loves to travel with her husband, Lee.

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