Spiritually Asleep

I think that spirituality takes energy.  We can’t just go with the flow of the world, sometimes.  Even if we live in the Bible Belt, where religion is everywhere in the air, it’s not enough to go with the flow of the world.

Plato said that the unexamined life is not worth living.  I believe that that goes for our life in the world, and our religious life.  What I am getting at is living an examined life, being critical about our life.

It’s easy to drift with the crowd and talk only about money-making, flashy cars, sports, our wealth, our job, our family.  All these things are OK when they are in perspective.  But to sleep in the midst of these matters, swept along with worldly ideals, may result in sloughing off spirituality.  It was Heraclitus who said, “We ought not to act and speak as if we were asleep” (fragment 73).  And Jesus, using stronger language, said,

“Therefore, keep awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly.  And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.” (Mark 13:35-37)

These days, I don’t think people are rebelling against spirituality.  I think the problem is one of apathy.  It’s just not something that society thinks about.  As if asleep.

I think it takes energy to rise above apathy, and ask spiritual questions.  To investigate spirituality.  Sometimes I see eager interest when I raise spiritual issues.  Even delight.  There may be spirituality even if it lies beneath public discourse.  The energy exerted in pursuit of spirituality will reap rich rewards.  Whether we are snoozing in the drift of what we always believed religiously, or in the flow of worldly life, the Bach chorale calls to all of us, “Sleepers, awake!”


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