Then Jacob woke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place—and I did not know it!” Genesis 28:16
See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation! 2 Corinthians 6:2
The movie Awakenings is a fascinating look at a group of patients in a catatonic state in a Bronx hospital. Wikipedia provides this summary:
Awakenings tells the story of Malcolm Sayer, who, in 1969, discovers beneficial effects of the drug L-Dopa. He administers it to these patients who survived the 1917–28 epidemic of encephalitis lethargica. Leonard Lowe and the rest of the patients are awakened after decades and have to deal with a new life in a new time.
While Sayer and the hospital staff are thrilled by the success of L-Dopa with this group of patients, they soon find that it is a temporary measure. As the first to “awaken”, Leonard is also the first to demonstrate the limited duration of this period of “awakening”. Leonard’s tics grow more and more prominent and he starts to shuffle more as he walks, and all of the patients are forced to witness what will eventually happen to them.
The L-Dopa induced awakenings were only temporary, although the impact was redemptive on several levels. L-Dopa provided only temporary relief.
Jacob’s awakening from his dream of wrestling with the Angel of the Lord, is a literal awakening from sleep, together with a spiritual awakening to the presence of God. The impact from that awakening is much more far-reaching.
Once we are awakened to God’s presence, goodness, power, grace, forgiveness, and salvation, life changes. Forever. When God’s Holy Spirit quickens our hearts to realize this, we become eternally alive. We are then alive to God’s love for us and all people. We are inspired and empowered to love God first, and our neighbor as ourselves. This is the truest and most permanent awakening – one to which we should all aspire.
When shall we do this? When shall we awaken to God’s presence, power, faithfulness, goodness, love, and salvation? Now. Today. This is the time for he truest and most profound awakening. For the dedicated Christian this is an everyday experience.