So, here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for Him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what He wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. (Romans 12: 1-2, The Message)
When I was a child, I would sleepwalk. I vividly remember waking up in odd places in our apartment. My parents told me that they once found me “watching cartoons” in front of a turned off television. I also have vague recollections of my “walking dreams” as I began to wake up. I eventually grew out of this phase - to all my family members delight!
However, for many years, I did not trust that it was truly over. I kept thinking about the unpredictability of where I would wake up and feared it happening again. I was anxious about sleep overs, sleeping in new places, and mostly, embarrassing myself.
And then, I became a girl scout, which changed my fears. My first away camp experience was exciting, but also terrifying. My nine-year-old self was ready for some freedom from a heavy weight of fear. That weekend camping experience changed me. I fell in love with nature, silence, stillness, and hiking. And, as I fell asleep, I thanked God for giving me this time.
As I reminisce about my sleepwalking experiences, I cannot help but to reflect on Romans 12: 1-2. This passage encourages us to take our ordinary life – our sleeping, eating, going to work, walking around life – and placing it before God as an offering. I would challenge us to think about all aspects of our lives – giving our best and worst selves to God, knowing that when we do, we are changed from the inside out. But here is the key: the realization that our fears and doubts may still linger, and so, it is alright to continue to place this before God again and again. The Good News here – God provides a path for healing, hope, and grace.
Holy One, we lay before You all that we are and all that we have. We give to You our ordinary sleeping, eating, going to work, and walking around lives. We pray for transformation. Transform us to be the best “us” and “me” we/I can be. May we glorify You in all that we do. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.