Lazy Old Dog
27 November 2017
Reading: Psalm 124; Matthew 26-27
40 When he came back to his disciples, he found them sound asleep. He said to Peter, “Can’t you stick it out with me a single hour? 41 Stay alert; be in prayer so you don’t wander into temptation without even knowing you’re in danger. There is a part of you that is eager, ready for anything in God. But there’s another part that’s as lazy as an old dog sleeping by the fire.” (Matthew 26:40-41 MSG)
Peter and the other disciples were so confident they could handle whatever they had to face. Jesus knew better. Jesus knew what he was going to face in the next few hours so he prepared himself through self-emptying, spirit-strengthening prayer.
Jesus advised Peter to do the same. He told Peter that if he didn’t wake up the lazy old dog of his selfish soul and make his ready and eager spirit the master of his will, he would fail during the intense testing he was about to face. Peter slept on.
I’m like Peter in that there is one part of me – my God-aware spirit – that is eager and ready for anything in God. But there’s another part – my selfish, comfort-seeking flesh – that wants to lie by the fire like my dog Jake does every wintry morning while I’m doing my devotions.
Jesus made it clear what Peter needed to do. I know what I need to do. I must discipline the lazy old dog through self-emptying, spirit-strengthening prayer or temptation will come sneaking in unnoticed and I’ll just sleep on.
Father, Please forgive me for too often letting the lazy old dog of comfort-seeking self sleep on and on. I thank you for the simple discipline of daily Bible reading, journaling, and prayer that helps me prepare for the unexpected. I thank you for the prompting of your Spirit to my spirit to stay alert and ready for anything. I want to do better at keeping the lazy old dog awake and watchful. Amen.