Isn’t it our nature to waste privileges?

One Sunday, when I was a boy, my Father invited a guest speaker to preach at our church. It was probably really good. It probably was a major blessing to everyone, but I’ll never know because I slept through the whole message! I remember waking up a little disillusioned and disoriented and something strange was going on – everyone was eating Snickers candy bars! I thought I woke up in Heaven! However, the excitement quickly faded when my Mom informed me that the preacher gave them out as an illustration and only good boys who stay awake in church get candy bars. I was crushed.

I think we all would agree we should give God our best. We wear our “Sunday best” when we come to worship Him, we give Him the “firstfruits of all” our increase, and many of us give Him the best of our mental capacity by having devotions in the morning. What a noble and good practice it is to give God our best! Should not this principle apply to how alert we find ourselves on a weekly basis as the Bible is preached? 

Really, let’s think about it. On a scale from 1-10, how alert are you when the Word is preached? Do you notice a pattern of drowsiness that hovers over you every Sunday around eleven o’clock? If there is a pattern, perhaps it would be a good idea to take steps in breaking free from it. There’s nothing inherently wrong with being tired, but the heart can only receive what the brain has received and if the brain is on its weekly vacation all hope of accomplishing anything in the heart is lost!

Don’t be like the child version of me who wasted the privilege of hearing the preached Word of God because I was asleep. When you wake up you may realize that everyone else has benefited while you remained the same except for a pool of drool on your tie and no blessing to show for your attendance. Let’s give God our best, not our worst! To sleep during preaching isn’t too much different from not being present at all.

Consider these suggestions for giving God your best on Sunday:

  1. Eat nutritious meals and go to bed early on Saturday night.
  2. Wake up early enough on Sunday to get in the Word, pray, and eat a decent breakfast.
  3. Avoid TV or social networking on Sunday morning. 
  4. Get the kids ready on time. The old “Sunday morning panic” kills attention in the pew.
  5. Take notes, open your Bible to the passage being preached, and stay mentally active.
  6. A couple shots of espresso never hurt the situation either.

 

-Keith Birdsong