Stay Awake!

IMG_0552Last Friday’s gospel came back to mind as I reflected on this afternoon’s happenings here at St. Anne’s.  After telling a parable about the wise and foolish virgins, Jesus exhorted the listeners: “…stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour.” (Matthew 25:13)

Sitting at the table, upon finishing lunch, a feeling came over me…I knew that this adage would not be easy to follow in the coming hours.

I was sleepy…

Not only that, but I had committed to help with bingo at 2 o’clock.  I feared that the sound of a monotone voice calling number after number for 45 minutes would pose a definite threat to my alertness.

If I fell asleep while watching cards for our blind residents, I could miss a number or two for them.  That wouldn’t be fair, would it?

I needed to do something!  It was five minutes to two and I felt ready for a nap.  With encouragement from one of my coworkers and resources provided by Sister Elaine, I broke my normal practice of avoiding candy.  I was reminded that chocolate has caffeine.  I think, however, that the sugar contained therein made me feel sluggish and counteracted any stimulation brought by the caffeine.  I should have known and benefited from past experience that any supposed boost doesn’t work for me.  (I’ve learned that sugar makes me more tired.)

Although I didn’t fall asleep at bingo today, I probably would have done just as well, and felt better, without the chocolate.

I need to keep working on being “awake” to myself, to watching what I do.  I don’t want to so easily give in to appealing excuses, like a piece of candy, when reality is that I’d be just as well without it.

There are so many things in which I need to stay awake if I want to follow Jesus and His words as I should.

I pray for the grace to be “awake” (and responsive) to the opportunities He offers me each day: opportunities to give my utmost in serving Him in those around me.

Sr. Christina M. Neumann, OSF


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