Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by Renée Miller

Saturday, April 5

While he slept, Delilah took the seven locks of his head and wove them into the web, and made them tight with the pin. Then she said to him, "The Philistines are upon you, Samson!" But he awoke from his sleep, and pulled away the pin, the loom, and the web.
—Judges 16:14

Samson had told Delilah the secret of his heart, and she waited until he was asleep—until he was not aware, not paying attention—to use that secret against him. It was natural and needful for sleep to fall upon him at the end of the day, and in that semi-conscious state, he became an easy target for those who wanted to betray him.

But it was not the nighttime slumber that was really to blame.

Rather it was being too sleepy in life to realize who could be trusted with the revelation of his secret. When we close our eyes at day's end for restorative rest, we can do so with trust if we have been fully awake at all other times. But, when we unconsciously doze through our life, we are left exposed to all kinds of evil plans. Those are the dangerous moments, because we unwittingly open the door to exploitation long before we ever enter physical sleep in the darkness of night.

It may seem too rigorous to constantly maintain an attitude of wakefulness in our thoughts, in our families, in our work, in our relationships. It may seem as if we are being too cautious, too compulsive, too paranoid.

Yet, the reason for staying awake is not to escape betrayal, but to live with discernment and clarity. It makes it possible for us to sort out the meaningful from the mundane, the excellent from the evil, the beautiful from the beastly.

We end up living our lives with the fullness and splendor of a green-leafed tree swaying lightly under the clear light of summer's sun.

O God, when dullness cracks wonder's joy, open my eyes to the marvel of my full human existence.