Perhaps it may turn out a sang,
Perhaps turn out a sermon.

-- R. Burns Epistle to a Young Friend

Friday, February 20, 2015

Sleep-walking Toward Gomorrah

The hearing ear and the seeing eye, the LORD has made them both.  Love not sleep, lest you come to poverty; open your eyes, and you will have plenty of bread. – Proverbs 20:12-13

The Bible tells us often to wake up: 

Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame (1 Corinthians 15:34).

[F]or anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you (Ephesians 5:14).

On the other hand, sleep can be a good thing.

Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.  Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.  It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep (Psalm 127:1-2).

There is more than one kind of sleep and more than one kind of bread.  The sleep against which the proverb warns is the closing of our eyes and ears to the spiritual nature of our existence.  It is to dream that we are mere primates, clever apes and intelligent beasts.  That we can see we are more than animals is a gift of God.  Our spiritual senses testify to the Spirit just as our eyes are proof of the existence of light. 

If we close our eyes to the true nature of our existence, we will live impoverished lives, always hungering for some missing nutrient, no matter how much bread and beef and beer we consume. 

If we open our eyes, however, we will find, to our everlasting joy, that the Bread of Life is ours and in abundance.  All the true, honorable, righteous, and lovely desires of the spirit within us will find satisfaction and fulfillment. 

The world lives in a nightmare, somnolent and senseless.  Like all dreamers, their situations, motivations, and actions are often bizarre and irrational.  When we are surrounded by such, we may come to wonder if we are not the sleepers.  A few minutes of the evening news is usually sufficient to convince me otherwise.   


julie said...

Like all dreamers, their situations, motivations, and actions are often bizarre and irrational.

Going back again to recent commentary on the adventures of the Israelites and their spies. They saw what all was there, and how good the land was, but they didn't see with the Lord's eyes. Then after they were told they must wander for forty years, they decided to go of their own accord and take what they had been promised, but without the Lord. Failing both ways. And still they didn't learn.

Whatever we do, sleeping and waking, seeking and finding, if we do it with the wrong heart, it will do us no good. The crazy part is how often it should be obvious what we are to do next, and yet we refuse to do it, and then we suffer.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

In the wise words of Mr. Bean:
Wakey wakey.

It's interesting that Paul likens asleepness to reality and truth as a drunken stupor, which makes sense.

All the more troubling when so many actually seek to be in a drunken stupor, whether it's alcohol, drugs or illusions.

mushroom said...

That's a good point, Julie. It's almost like we have to shoot ourselves in the foot from time to time just to spite God or something.

You know, Ben, that reminds me, there's a verse about judging ourselves so that we won't be judged or won't come under judgment. I think, as with being drunken, our judgment gets impaired.