For some reason, the title of this track from the Genesis album ‘We Can’t Dance’ popped into my head: the chorus “All my life I’ll be haunted by all my life just one moment in time”. A song about a hit and run incident and the subsequent agonies of recollection. The recent government car adverts of childrens’ corpses materialising under computer desks and anywhere else in the mind’s eye are not unlike this sinister scenario. Enough to make you want to get off the road permanently.
Quite aside from a couple of conversations in recent months with members of the Advanced Drivers club, and a growing sense that I should perhaps look to improve my road safety, driving is a straightforward parallel for the danger that we sleepwalk into. There are crevasses that we suddenly step off in our everyday life, and nothing looks the same the afterwards. We don’t see them loom up in front of us, and at times we are not even aware that we have stepped off, and yet looking back, it becomes all too clear.
Reflecting over the past few months, have you made some decisions that you wish to sweet heaven could have been reversed? We reap what we sow. Proverbs in the Bible is full of wisdom in that respect. A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty comes on you like an armed man.
But sleep does not only induce poverty, given time. Slumber can also lead to that roaring lion the Enemy getting the better of you. David removed a piece of King Saul’s cloak while he was asleep. Saul was the man anointed by God to rule. It did not mean that he was invulnerable to attack. Most of us do not think that we are the ‘Lord’s anointed’ (at least, if we have the revelation of it, we certainly were not the Lord’s anointed in the way that Saul was for Israel). But still, we scoff at our enemies, at those who would bring us low.
I used to think that the Psalms didn’t apply to me, for example, because David is always going on about his enemies. Now, more than ever, I am aware of hostility around me at times. It can even be palpable, in the air, like the fizz when you drop something in acid, or the hiss when the egg hits hot fat. But at times, I am dozy, and I do not notice. That is one of the crevasses I can walk into.
When we are in Christ, we can claim the promises in the Psalms. Because the Psalms constantly speak of the righteous man, and that is you, dear brother, that is you, my sister, when you are in the Rock. Stand on one of the promises below now – I have changed them to first person so that they can be spoken out slowly, in your spirit, and become our bread and our water. The type of bread that means we are not hungry again. The type of water that means we don’t need to drink again. We do not need to fear the sleep of the just, but we should be wary of the doze of the drugged and the inert:
Your angel, Lord, encamps around me because I fear you, and you deliver me.
I will be still before the Lord; I will wait patiently for Him.
You delight in my way, and you make my steps firm; although I stumble, I will not fall, because You, O Lord, uphold me with Your hand.
This poor man called, and you heard me. You saved me out of all my troubles.
The eyes of the Lord are on me, and Your ears are attentive to my cry.
I may have many troubles, but You O Lord deliver me from them all.
You forgive all my sins, and heal all my diseases, you redeem my life from the pit and crown me with love and compassion.
I will flourish like a palm tree, I will grow like a cedar of Lebanon.
I will flourish in the courts of our God.
I will still bear fruit in old age; I will stay fresh and green.