For the last two mornings I have been sleeping in. The hurricane that has been swirling around has brought gray skies along with the wind and the rain and dark mornings make it harder to get up. Sunday the clocks “fall back” which might help a bit but as for now, a couple of hours longer in bed in the morning is oh so tempting. And yet, when I fall back to sleep it is usually less restful because my “to do” mind winds its way into my dreams and I might as well be up and doing rather than dreaming about it. A later rising also means that there is less quiet time for yoga and reading. I really should just get out of bed!
So today I got out of bed early and took the time to stretch and watch the morning light break in (hurricane is past us now) and turned to my reading. Lo and behold, I got encouragement there also to not stay stuck in bed. The prophet Ezekiel, speaking for God, chastises the people of Israel for turning away from everything that they have been taught. God, through the prophet, tells them in no uncertain terms to stop blaming other people (or hurricane darkness?) for what they are ultimately responsible for, and “get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit!” Don’t stay stuck , just get up and get a new heart and a new spirit. Of course doing that means being willing to turn over or turn in what keeps us stuck and be willing to be change. Ezekiel continues the scolding by advising “Turn, then, and live.”
The next reading was even more direct. In the Book of Acts, (the actions of the new apostles who had been sent out to spread the good news of Jesus) Peter was out and about in the town of Lydda. The reading tells us that he found a man named Aeneas, who had been bedridden for eight years. He was not only stuck in bed, he was paralyzed. Peter meets him and says “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; get up and make your bed!” And immediately he got up, and everyone in the town saw him and “turned to the Lord”, which I read as they got a new heart and a new spirit, and a new life.
When I read that passage I just laughed out loud. Not only “get up and walk” which is how Jesus often instructed the lame and halt, but Peter, maybe because he is often pictured as someone who is pretty dense and always wants more information from Jesus, offers a more parental directive. “Get up and make your bed!” Don’t just get up and walk but make your bed, clean up your act, get a new heart and a new spirit and tuck in the sheet also. Who says that Scripture isn’t funny or relevant for our times?
Sometime healing comes not just by teaching new practices but through humor!