Nearly a year ago to the day I wrote a blog called “awakened Heart“. In it I wondered how the apostles could ever fall asleep in the Garden of Gethsemane with Jesus. Jesus just wanted to spend some time praying with His closest and most trusted friends because He knew His hour was just before Him, and yet His apostles, His best friends fell asleep.
Last Friday I went to a Stations of the Cross service put on by some teens at a local parish. In their prayer service they talked about the apostles falling asleep in the Garden. As the teens led the meditation I couldn’t help but wonder who I’ve “fallen asleep” on lately. Who among my friends and who among God’s children is in the Garden of Gethsemane, stressed and overwhelmed and just needs some time with someone who cares about them? Have I fallen asleep on them?
I’m sure we could all list people who we feel have fallen asleep on us, who fail to show us love or caring as deep as we wish they would, but we also need to be sure to pay attention to who we have fallen asleep on. Since I’ve given up my snooze button for Lent God has shown me just how often I push the snooze button and not just in the mornings. It is time to wake up, to wake up to prayer and to not fall asleep on our friends who need us. In the Gospel reading yesterday Jesus prayed, “I am troubled now. Yet what should I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour?’ But it was for this purpose that I came to this hour” (John 12:27). Sometimes in life we don’t get to avoid the Garden of Gethsemane. Sometimes we are in that Garden for a very specific reason, but wouldn’t that Garden be so much easier to handle if our friends were awake with us, supporting us, encouraging us and praying for us?
That being said, here’s a few ideas I’ve come up with on how to be awake for your friends and the people you care about most:
Listen. Shut up and listen, even if they can sometimes go on about the same things. Why do we go on and on in prayer sometimes? Because God listens. Do the same thing with your friends and loved ones.
Call them. Actually pick up the phone and call, don’t just wimp out and send a text.
Pray for them. Intentionally – and the more you actually talk to them, the more intentionally you can pray for them instead of simply asking God to watch over and guide them.
Finally, as Howie Day sings, “if you’re gonna be there, be there.” Period.