In New South Wales, Australia, there is a long running road safety campaign called STOP, REVIVE, SURVIVE.
The campaign urges drivers who have a long journey ahead of them to stop every 2 hours for a short break – whether it’s to have a coffee and something to eat or to walk about and stretch their legs. The awareness campaign gives info on microsleep.
A micro sleep is an episode of sleep which may last for a fraction of a second or up to thirty seconds. Often, it is the result of sleep deprivation, mental fatigue, sleep apnea, hypoxia, narcolepsy, or hypersomnia. Micro sleeps can occur at any time, typically without significant warning.
♥The point of the road campaign is to reduce incidences of road drivers slipping into micro sleeps & the number of deaths on the road, particularly during major holiday periods when just about everyone packs up and jumps in the car to go somewhere.
♥The point of this advent campaign, is to reduce the number of spiritual deaths, on the road to holiness, particularly, during the Christmas season, when just about everyone, would be tempted to be concerned about the least of Christmas concerns, material things.
Let us adapt this Campaign, Stop, Revive, Survive, and call it an Advent Campaign. This campaign is based on today’s Gospel from Luke.
But when these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.” (Luke 21:28)
♥A popular grocery store, has the habit of pausing every so often, and a voice in the public address system gives the cue, to which all the sales ladies and gentlemen in uniform, cheer together something like, “We’re happy to serve!” That’s an amazing idea!
♥Some department stores even pray the angelus at noon time and in the evening, putting a halt, to all business and worldly transactions, to simply say “Thank you, Lord!”
That is what it means to stop. Sometimes, when stopping is not physically possible, slowing down is already a big help.
♥Is this not possible, too, for us Christians? To slow down or to stop every two hours, to simply “raise our heads” by bowing down to the Author of life and of time?
♥Maybe related to microsleep, is what we call Narcolepsy. This is a chronic sleep disorder, or what is callled, dyssomnia.
♥This condition is characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness or E.D.S., in which a person, experiences extreme fatigue, and possibly falls asleep, at inappropriate times, such as while at work, or at school.
♥Physical and mental fatigue are doors that lead to microsleeps. Yes, they can affect our spirits, too. Tell tale signs of spiritual micro slips into microsleeps may include,
√little outbursts of sarcasm toward another person,
√fleeting bad thoughts & wishes for persons we dislike
√mentally cursing a person
√many other symptoms we can identify within our consciences.
♥Do you have these signs of spiritual microsleeps? Don’t worry, we all have them. Let us Rest a while.
Jesus reminds us, Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. (Mt 11:28)
He exhorts us, Beware that your hearts, do not become drowsy, from the anxieties of daily life. (Luke 21:34)
Remember Hachiko’s story? Hachiko was an Akita dog who had gained the honor of the Japanese people because for close to 10 yrs. He waited faithfully for his master, Prof Eizaburo at the train station, as he was in the habit of doing.
♥Indeed, to revive is to re-commit ourselves, to faithfulness, despite the anxieties of daily life. Faithfully and productively, watching and awaiting the Master’s return, without slipping into any spiritual microsleeps.
♥But having died from a stroke while in the University, the master never arrived. Hachiko waited and waited faithfully till he died.
♥ through PRAYER.
In today’s gospel, Jesus exhorts us, to Be vigilant at all times, and pray that you have the strength, to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man. (Lk 21:36)
In other words, Jesus gives us a formula for surviving through our widowing time: PRAYER.
He reminds us now, that if only we can stop at different moments during the day, and revive our drooping spirits, through connectedness to Him in prayer, we will survive all our trials and tribulations.
A famous saying goes: He who has the WHY to live for, can survive almost any HOW. (adapted)
BLESSING OF ADVENT WREATH
Lord our God, we praise you for your Son, Jesus Christ. He is Emmanuel, the hope of the peoples. He is the wisdom, that teaches and guides us. He is the Savior, of every nation.
Lord God, let your blessing come upon us as we light the candles of this wreath. May the wreath and its light, be a sign of Christ’s promise to bring us salvation.
May he come quickly and not delay. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.♥