And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”
It is not difficult for us to think of things that can distract us these days. We are bombarded with screens and often pointless information from dawn til dusk, for many of us any moment of quiet is interrupted by our phones or something else trying to grab our attention. It often feels as though we truly are at the mercy of many things not in this world. And yet in Luke we see that these distractions from God can come in even giving in to tiredness.
For a long time it almost seemed unfair in my mind that Jesus would get upset over his disciples tiredness. However it has become clearer to me that any form of putting our supposed needs before Christ’s is giving in to the sin of thinking ourselves higher than God. It surely isn’t easy, but it strikes at the core of our relationship with Christ. While the disciples were sleeping, his concentration on God was so intense his sweat dropped like blood.
We need to approach God with that same utterly complete focus, and say with Christ, not my will, but yours be done.
One thing remains clear or at least sensed: doubt and temptation about the meaningfulness of being cast to and fro, of being at the mercy of things, will not cease as long as we remain focused on ourselves, as long as in one form or another “the other” (i.e. that which is not of this world) does not step into our lives.