Signposts: Daily Devotions

Tuesday, May 6

Awake, my soul!
Awake, O harp and lyre!
I will awake the dawn!

—Psalm 57:8

"Have I ever met a man who was truly awake?” Henry David Thoreau mused in Walden. He didn’t believe he had—at least not anyone who was fully awake. To be “awake,” Thoreau suggested, is to be more than conscious of the world around us. It’s also to live as both a physical and spiritual being. It’s to know, in some fundamental way, that we are part of a multi-dimensional fabric whose weave is seamless and sure.

In scripture, too, we find myriad admonitions to “wake up!” The prophet Isaiah, for example, urges God’s people to “Awake, awake, put on your strength.” After praying in the garden on the night of his arrest, Jesus finds his disciples sleeping and asks them, “[C]ould you not watch with me one hour?” And Paul, writing to the Christians in Rome, announces, “[I]t is full time now for you to wake from sleep.”

The irony is that “waking up” spiritually requires that we tap into our more creative selves. And being creative human beings implies some awareness of a life beyond what we can see and touch and hear. It’s the classic catch-22.

Ultimately, our only recourse is simply to jump in. Being “ready” to explore our spirituality is something that occurs only as we begin the process. Acknowledging our desire to live more deliberately, to be awake to the presence of God, is, in fact, the first step on the path.  

O God, help me learn that there is never a better time to begin the spiritual journey than today, and that I will never be more ready than I am right now.

The Signposts for May are written by Susan Hanson and originally appeared on in September 2004.