#BlogElul – Awaken
OK, I admit it. My first thought is, “do I have to?” It’s early and there’s so much that has to be done, and no time in which to do it and now, you want me to awaken. It’s just not fair. I feel very much like responding the way my kid does when I wake her, with a blanket pulled tightly over my head and a groan of dismay, followed by tightly squeezed eyes, and a studious attempt to avoid all awareness of anyone trying to wake me. On a spiritual level, I have even better excuses. Do you know how much time it takes to be spiritually awake? It can take over your whole life! I have things to do – useful things. Really.
And awakening is no fun. Usually, it involves the realization that there’s a ton of stuff not only left undone from yesterday but messed up by me yesterday. So, I have a lot of repair work to do, fires to fight, and only then that long list to tackle. All the distasteful work can be avoided if I just stay in bed, right? Spiritually, putting a blanket over my head is easy. There are many delightfully busy things for me to focus on from useful ones like dishes to completely useless activities like rereading a children’s book I stumbled on or reaching level 437 in Candy Crush.
When people say they’ve had a spiritual awakening, it’s only half because an event in their life woke them up from everyday activities. Half of it is because they didn’t put a blanket over their heads.
See, God doesn’t do it right. When I wake the kids up, I’m sweet. I cajole, and talk nicely and gently , mention the good things that the day will bring, have a glass of water on the ready, point kids to daily routines – it’s a pleasant process (most days) that picks up where the bedtime cuddle left off. God now, usually spiritual awakenings are done with a crash of life event saying wake up, your soul is on fire and you have to fix the way you’re doing everything spiritually RIGHT NOW!
If only there was a period of time, maybe on a regular basis, that was dedicated to doing gentle pleasant things that could lead to spiritual awareness – things like prayer, and study, self-reflection and analysis, something that picks up from ritual to ritual, where I can focus on the good things that the following period of time will bring, and when everyone talks nicely and…oh, wait…