Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by Renée Miller

Friday, April 18

Discipline yourselves, keep alert.
—1 Peter 5:8a

It's not easy to stay alert. Our lives in the 21st century are so inundated with routine, with busyness, with diversions, that it is hard to keep our hearts, minds, and souls in a state of active vigilance. What seems to be particularly paradoxical is that we so believe we are being attentive and alert to all the activities going on in our lives that we don't even realize that we have "shut down" into heavy-eyed sleep.

It isn't until our energy slugs through us like blackstrap molasses, or our excitement is as flat as an uninteresting novel, or our body feels like a lead pipe being rolled along the sidewalk that we realize that we are more than merely drowsy about life.

It is then that we need to take ourselves in hand and do the hard work of sloughing off our sluggishness and making a fresh commitment to being mindful of the goodness of life given to us by the gracious and loving hand of the Holy One. While it's not easy to stay alert, it is a practice that can always be renewed.

When you feel that your life has become so heavy with sleep that you feel you are just slushing through the mire of life, take a walk, or look at the stars, or pet your dog, or pick a wildflower, or put your toes in a stream, or lie down under the rays of the sun, and for a few moments allow any thought that randomly ripples through your brain to float just as easily away.

Try to feel the moment with every cell of your body, and find at the end that a dusty layer of lethargy has slipped off and life feels just a little lighter.  

O God, let the layers of dust drop and the wonder of life be revealed in me.

The Signposts for April are written by Renée Miller and originally appeared on in May 2004.