WASTED BY SLUMBER

“Tis the voice of the sluggard; I heard him complain, you have waked me too soon; I must slumber again.”¹ – Isaac Watts. I watched a soccer team that fielded star players but still loses games against teams with relatively little obvious talent. The poor achievements despite sound talented players may be as a result of what their coach attributed to poor coordination, unharmonized skill and egocentric. But I see them as losing focus on the higher prize before them. Their ultimate concern should have been winning the tournament, however, they got distracted and became underachievers. When we lose consciousness of our worth, we develop a confused and diverged notions about life.

It is possible to be overly concerned about our problems to the point of ignoring some of our harmful traits and practices. How easy it is for good things to slip away from us through ignorance and slumber. When you fail to acknowledge or put to use the good things about you, it may cause you to languish in need. I recall the right sense of judgment that brought the ancient King of Israel to fame.

“Now two women who were harlots came to the king, and stood before him. And one woman said, “O my lord, this woman and I dwell in the same house; and I gave birth while she was in the house. Then it happened, the third day after I had given birth, that this woman also gave birth. And we were together; no one was with us in the house, except the two of us in the house. And this woman’s son died in the night, because she lay on him. So she arose in the middle of the night and took my son from my side, while your maidservant slept, and laid him in her bosom, and laid her dead child in my bosom. And when I rose in the morning to nurse my son, there he was, dead. But when I had examined him in the morning, indeed, he was not my son whom I had borne.”

Then the other woman said, “No! But the living one is my son, and the dead one is your son.”

And the first woman said, “No! But the dead one is your son, and the living one is my son.”

Thus they spoke before the king.

And the king said, “The one says, ‘This is my son, who lives, and your son is the dead one’; and the other says, ‘No! But your son is the dead one, and my son is the living one.’” Then the king said, “Bring me a sword.” So they brought a sword before the king. And the king said, “Divide the living child in two, and give half to one, and half to the other.”

Then the woman whose son was living spoke to the king, for she yearned with compassion for her son; and she said, “O my lord, give her the living child, and by no means kill him!”

But the other said, “Let him be neither mine nor yours, but divide him.”

So the king answered and said, “Give the first woman the living child, and by no means kill him; she is his mother.”

And all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had rendered; and they feared the king, for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him to administer justice.” (1 Kg. 3:16-28)

These two women lived in the same house, both had their babies three days apart. One of the ladies rolled over her child and suffocated the child to death. This baby was a precious gift but suppressed to death. This may apply to many people who slumber to quash their gifts and envy those who put theirs to use. “She rose at midnight”. Midnight hour is always a dark and lonely period of life. She got out of her sleep to see she has killed her own baby. She exchanged her dead baby with the living baby also at midnight, while the other lady slept. During this interchange, she slept off until daylight. She slumbered so deep that she could not sense the dead baby.

When we are not cognizant of how exemplary and meritorious we are, we act unworthy and become contemptible. The nobility in you is desirous of a much fruitful life, treat it venerably lest you’ll be remodeled as vile in your approach to life.

Don’t become so stereotyped that you see yourself common and become irrelevant.

Hold dearly to what you have that makes people see light out of darkness. I counsel you to awake and be not wasted by slumber.
DECLARATION: “‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “On the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will also enable you to dwell in the cities, and the ruins shall be rebuilt. The desolate land shall be tilled instead of lying desolate in the sight of all who pass by. So they will say, ‘This land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden; and the wasted, desolate, and ruined cities are now fortified and inhabited.’” (Eze. 36:33-35)


SLEEPING AND STUMBLING

It’s rare to be widely awake and see a rock and stumble into it. If it’s unnoticed, the possibility of tumbling is high. Marilyn French said “Men stumble over pebbles never over mountains”.¹ Making headway in life is about gaining momentum to embrace the opportunities around us, however, the bumpy road of life may slow us down.

So, when things are working well stick to it and when unsteady don’t give up.

The recession that hits the world’s economy has gripped our hearts with fear and many people are struggling and going through hard times. Nonetheless, you can’t afford to sit on the fence doing nothing and hoping for the best. Such was the case of a man in the ancient city of Troas, by name Eutychus, who in his elevated state slumbered and fell. “Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight. There were many lamps in the upper room where they were gathered together. And in a window sat a certain young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep. He was overcome by sleep; and as Paul continued speaking, he fell down from the third story and was taken up dead. But Paul went down, fell on him, and embracing him said, “Do not trouble yourselves, for his life is in him.” Now when he had come up, had broken bread and eaten, and talked a long while, even till daybreak, he departed. And they brought the young man in alive, and they were not a little comforted.” (Acts 20:7-12)

Eutychus sat on the window during the midnight gathering. It was midnight, yet the room where they gathered was full of light. Sitting at the window provides the opportunity to partake of what is happening inside and is easy to watch whatever is going on outside – neither here nor there kind of attitude. Whereas other people within the room enjoyed the light, he was seated between light and darkness. The gentle breeze of the late night knocked him into deep sleep. “He was overcome by sleep”. “He fell down from the third loft” – and elevated position.

Eutychus whose name means “Fortunate” was so favored to receive elevation in different levels and under powerful revelatory word to enlighten his soul, but he slumbered into deep sleep and fell dead. How many people today are favored to enjoy some privileges, but allowed the dark world to influence them until they lose consciousness of opportunity around them?

I counsel you to get out of the fence. Desmond Tutu said, “If you are neutral in situations, of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor”. John Morgan from the Grasshopper Notes said, “if you’re sitting on fence, it’s the perfect perch to watch life pass you by.”²

DECLARATION: “Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if one walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” (John 11:9-10)


OUT OF SLUMBER

Sleep is essential to life. Babies sleep, so also the adults and the elderly. The Kings and the Queens are not exempted. Soldiers and watchmen also struggle with slumber. Our bodies require sleep in order to maintain proper function and health. In pursuit of success, we are caught up in a competitive routine that makes us burn the candle at both ends. People keep late night to socialize, factories run 24/7 and we become sleep deprived. When we skip sleep in order to keep up with our busy schedule, we pay a price with our health, safety and quality of life.

Slumber is a state of suspended consciousness. At such point, we become unaware of our self and environment. “A survey by the national Sleep Foundation has found that 30% of participants have admitted to sleeping while on duty.”¹

“February 2008 – the pilots on a go! Airline flight were suspended during an investigation when it was suspected they fell asleep midflight from Honolulu, Hawaii to Hilo; Hawaii, resulting in their overshooting Hilo Airport by 15 miles before turning around to land safely.”² “The Peach Bottom Nuclear Generating Station was ordered shut down by Nuclear Regulatory Commission after four operators were found sleeping while on duty.”³

How often we put our lives in danger and people around us when we slumber in our responsibilities. There is a lion that slumbers in every soul and must wake up.

You were born for a purpose, with an assignment, equipped and gifted to make a difference.

Failure to recognize this and step up to achieve why you were born may stir up frustration. A slumbered man or woman is ignorant and inattentive. Hence, it’s time for you to awake, arise and be restored.

DECLARATION: “And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.” (Rom. 13:11-12)