Many verses warn us to stay awake, sober-minded and otherwise alert. Consequences of falling asleep are often decay and weakness. Staying awake is very important to staying alive.
“But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” Luke 21:36
“Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ..” 1 Peter 1:13
It’s important to stay awake but, for me, it’s not always easy. The temptation to return to a comatose state and fall into escapes and distractions is great as challenges arise in my faith. It is so easy to put God on the back burner when sin or growth comes up that I don’t want to deal with.
In Rozen Maiden, Jun and the main Rozen doll, Shinku, have a discussion about the long, deep hibernation period Rozen Maidens have periodically. Jun thinks that sounds nice. As someone who spent much of her life asleep, Shinku is passionately of the other opinion.
Shinku: We merely sleep for a bit when we are wound down, but if no one winds us up we may continue to slumber and never awaken. That’s the kind of sleep it is.
Jun: That sounds sort of nice.
Jun: There’d be no one who knew me by the time I woke up. I bet that would be refreshing. I almost wouldn’t mind never waking up.
Shinku: You think so? I think it’s better to wake up.
Jun desperately wants to escape from his current obligations. For a long time, he has not gone to school due to a traumatic experience and spends most of his life in his house. A long, deep sleep that would let him completely escape from the world sounds very tempting to Jun, but Shinku knows better. She strongly prefers being awake even with all of it’s implications. For Rozen Maidens, being awake means constant vigilance and inevitable battle. Shinku wants to be awake despite that because she has something she is striving for that she can only get if she is awake.
Shinku: For Rozen Maidens, awakening also signals the start of battle, but you see a lot more and hear more awake than asleep. And someday, you’ll also get to meet Father.
Shinku has a strong desire to meet Father, the creator of the Rozen Maidens. She will never be able to achieve this desire asleep. She accepts the reality and challenge of staying awake because she wants to fulfill her desires more than she wants to escape battle. She knows sleeping is nice, but she will never get anywhere if she stays that way.
Shinku: To live is to fight, isn’t it?
Staying asleep negatively affects not only the person asleep, but those around that person. Another episode follows a couple that lost their son in an accident.The mother fell into a coma after his death and has not come out since. After entering the mother’s dream, the dolls discover the spirit of the dead child who tells them the mother chooses to stay asleep and keeps him in her dreams because they can be together and nothing can harm them in a dream.
Jun is actually the one that scolds the boy and tells him how selfish it is to abandon the father in the real world.
Jun: Sure, losing you must have come as a shock but to turn away from reality and shut herself in the safe world of dreams is……
The boy releases the mother after remembering how lonely his father is and how much he needs the mother. She wakes up and pulls the father out of a loneliness that had caused him to become deluded and may have consumed him completely if she had chosen to stay asleep.
Although I don’t agree with the Rozen Maiden fight, they all fight each other in order to become Rozen’s image of the “perfect girl,” I admire Shinku’s determination. I want to remember that constant pursuit of escapes is not only unhealthy for my spiritual life but unfair to those around me who might be in need of support. If I lean on God’s power and remember what I’m fighting for, I’ll be able to make it through the next battle.