Wide Asleep

Enlighten the eyes of our understanding and raise up our minds from the heavy sleep of indolence.

If Saint Basil had left off the last two words, it would be a simple request: wake me from sleep, body and mind. But he added “of indolence,” making it a whole different kind of request. It isn’t my nightly sleep that I need to leave behind, it’s the spiritual laziness that darkens my thoughts and makes me blind to the sacred life God has given me. It’s Pink Floyd’s comfortably numb existence: going through the motions, playing the game, climbing the ladder, taking meds or that second and third drink. I can live my life awake and aware on the outside all the while asleep to my true, deep self.

Leaving the heavy sleep of indolence behind has its price. Awake, I see this beautiful, broken world. I can’t reduce others to bit players in my life’s drama, props to move my story along and support my starring role. I am awake to the terrible holiness of every person, and my own part in their life’s play in God’s good creation. Life isn’t about me when I’m awake; I am about Life.

If I pray these words, God will answer my prayer. Do I want to be awake? I do, with God’s help.

For the complete prayer, click Prayer of Saint Basil above.



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I am a Christian educator and writer.I have worked in churches, denominational offices, and seminaries. I have a PhD in Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary, with a focus on Practical Theology and educating in faith. In 2010, my book, "How the Other Half Lives: the challenges facing clergy spouses and partners," was published by Pilgrim Press. I believe that words can build doorways that lead to encounters with God through the Spirit.

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