|Admiral William McRaven once addressed a graduating class at the University of Texas. His speech has inspired many people, accumulating more than 14.7 million hits on Youtube. Among the several clip-worthy bits of advice, it’s the first that is most unassuming. He talks about the advantages of making your bed. That simple, mundane act, as your first task in the morning, has great benefits.|
If you haven’t already, I’ll leave it to you to listen for yourself what those are.
But that simple act also finds its way into scripture in a similar unassuming, meaningful way.
In Acts 9, the apostle Peter meets a man, Aeneas, bedridden for eight years. This is only one person Peter has met as he traveled “among all the believers.” We aren’t given any more context about their meeting other than Peter’s command. We can only assume how Peter heard of him and got to his home.
The apostle’s command is simple: Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; get up and make your bed!
That simple act that many of us avoid becomes the first sign of new life for a healed man. How many times do you imagine he wanted to get up and make his bed in those eight years? Simple tasks like that were impossible before. Now, his first task isn’t to shout praise, joyfully dance or pray and give thanks. No, your renewed life begins with a made bed.
In other words, Aeneas, you have your life back.
As I reflect on stories like this one, my tendency is to wonder about the healing itself. I join the millennia-aged question of whether these signs were a part of a particular season for the church or if we can expect them now. If we can, why don’t we see more of them?
But I’ll wander from that discussion a bit today.
Instead, I’ll reflect more on Peter’s other movement. The coming and going among the believers. Some of my colleagues and I look forward to hearing our bishop use the worth thither once a year. It’s how he speaks of John Wesley’s activities. He went from here and there among the people of England. America, too. Peter’s thithering allowed him the chance to offer healing to Aeneas.
While I am no apostle, I can go among the saints. And while I cannot heal a bedridden person, I can be a part of God’s healing in other ways. I suspect not many of you are apostles either, and none of you have told me about any miraculous healings you’ve led. That means we have shared possibilities.
You don’t have to go to the ends of the world to be God’s peaceful presence. It could be your greatest witness is to your home. Then start there. You may never see a grand miracle happen before your eyes. The simple ways we share God’s peace may not seem like much. But one small task may be enough for each new day. The blessing in knowing someone is healing is not in how grand an event it is. The blessing is knowing that God has not left us.