Last 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