Lectionary Reading: Romans 6:12-23 (NRSV)
The battle cry of every small child told to go to bed is “but I’m not tired!” It is usually said with great distress as if the bedtime is the cruelest punishment a parent could inflict upon a hapless child.
If the parent persists with the set time, sometimes the child throws a fit. This is ironic in that it shows the parent that the child actually is tired and needs to go to sleep.
This is easier to see in one’s child than it is when looking into a mirror.
Sometimes I find myself staying up late for no good reason. I might be reading articles online, playing a mindless game, watching a television show or movie or reading a book. I can blow past my bedtime because I am an adult. I am in charge of my own schedule.
Unfortunately, all of the rationale that I tell my children still applies:
I, too, need my sleep.
I am more likely to get sick if I don’t get adequate rest.
I will be crankier the next day if I stay up too late.
I am more productive when I get adequate sack time.
So why would anyone choose otherwise?
There is not a good reason other than we may have convinced ourselves that we need more “me” time than we are getting. We have more free time than any previous generation in history and yet we may feel that we are owed more.
Paul is talking about this very thing in this week’s epistle reading as he speaks of slavery to sin. Our slavery is to the self. We believe that our will is law and heaven help anything that would disrupt this belief!
As we approach another national holiday, you’ll hear a lot of words like “independence” and “freedom.” I’m not sure we instill the same meanings into these words that our predecessors from the 18th century did. But I do know that we have a culture that needs to understand grace. Maybe more than that, we need to understand a proper response to grace. I have the freedom to decide how I will respond. I hope that I’ll rest when I’m really tired!
Check out Sam’s Blog here: http://precedinggrace.blogspot.com/
Photo by Mindaugas Danys via Flickr.com. Used under the Creative Commons license.