Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by Renée Miller

Monday, April 14

Then he came to the disciples and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, "So, could you not stay awake with me one hour?"
—Matthew 26:40

It's hard to stay awake when we feel the weight of sleep lowering upon us like a leaden cloak. It's hard even when it's the Holy One asking us to stay awake!

Jesus was not asking Peter to stay awake all night and all day. He simply asked him to stay awake and be present for the critical hour of his struggle with evil. Surely Peter had the best of intentions. Surely Peter's heart was committed to accompanying his Master and Friend through the incredible difficulty that faced him. But, just then, sleep overcame his willpower.

Astonishingly, it is often at the most critical times in our lives that sleep, like a silent snake, slithers its way through our being. The way to meet this clever intruder is not through willpower, but surprisingly through curiosity for life.

When we are fully engaged in the wonder of something in our lives—something new or something we are passionate about,  something that captures our inventive spirit or something that fascinates or even mesmerizes us—sleep loses its power. That is why children do everything possible to avoid having to go to bed at night. Their curiosity is so strong that sleep's power is diminished.
If we want to stay awake to the unfolding of our life, to the presence of God in our midst, to the daily deepening of our own soul, we need only to become curious children again—inquisitive for the world and God to be revealed to us.

O God, let the walls around my mind drop, so that I may pry into the horizon with excitement.

The Signposts for April are written by Renée Miller and originally appeared on in May 2004.