“Could you not watch with me for one hour?” Matthew 26:40
Those words pierce me every time I walk through the chapel door. Once inside, I can’t get away from them. They’re right there, underneath the monstrance in our Adoration Chapel. And I can’t escape the thought that Jesus is speaking directly to me. Not to His apostles, not to the sweet little lady who covers the hour after mine No, my amazing time-traveling God who is always present to everyone all of the time is talking to me.
And this hour that He speaks of, this one moment in time, this one and only chance…is my life.
God doesn’t exist in time. He exists in eternity. He knows me for eternity. And right now, because of Adam and Eve’s fall, I’m putting in my time. My free will is being tested. But on the timeline of eternity, it’s only for a brief moment; it’s only for about…one hour. I just have to keep watch.
I have to keep watch that my exhaustion doesn’t give in to despair, that my disappointments don’t fester into harbored resentment, that my frustrations don’t result in self-loathing. I’m human. I have bad days. This parenting stuff is hard. Marriage is not a constant honeymoon. I get frustrated with myself. Frustrated that I can’t be a more cheerful caretaker. Frustrated that I can’t give more to my husband and my children.
But part of keeping watch is accepting the way God made me and learning to work with what I have. He created me for a purpose that no one else can fulfill. He created me to do something with my life that will further His plan and lead me to Him. This may be something big that the rest of the world can see–or it may be as subtle as a turning of my heart. But nothing I do is insignificant if it leads me closer to my Lord.
So, for this brief time I have on earth–this one hour that God is asking of me–I will keep watch. I will keep trying. I will accept my failures as part of His plan and use them to clear a path to greater virtue. I will look fearlessly into the mirror He holds before me and continue to try to transform my image to match His. To keep watch for one short hour, for one brief lifetime–it’s all He asks.