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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by Renée Miller

Monday, September 14

Do not love sleep, or else you will come to poverty, open your eyes, and you will have plenty of bread.
—Proverbs 20:13

One hardly thinks it needs to be in the Bible, or any religious scripture for that matter. It’s just pure common sense. If you sleep your days away like a cat stretched out all afternoon in the sun, poverty will soon come around the corner ready to pounce.

In this context,sleep suggests a kind of laziness and overindulgence that eats up all our reserves and leaves us penniless. On the other hand, if we wipe the sleep from our eyes, look inquiringly and expectantly around us, we’ll see the endless possibilities for work and activity. Wealth rather than poverty will be edging its way in for companionship.

More than proverbial common sense, this is the heart and soul of spiritual practice. It is what makes spiritual practice the entry gate for feeding the soul.  We so often find ourselves wanting either to stay spiritually sleepy or to stop spiritual practice altogether because it feels so arduous. We weary of the rigors and decide that it won’t hurt to just fall asleep for awhile. 

At first, there’s little change. Then, the longer we sleep, the more tired we become. The longer we sleep the more sluggish our soul feels. The longer we sleep the emptier we are. The longer we sleep the further estranged we become from the wonder of our own soul, and our soul becomes famished by our neglect.

There in our deepest hunger, if we will just lift our heads, rub our eyes, and wash our face, we’ll see the bread from heaven all around us, waiting to nourish us.

Gracious God, waken me from my spiritual slumber that I may taste the bread of heaven.