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Reform Magazine | October 19, 2017

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A kind of sleepwalking

A kind of sleepwalking

How much of your time is spent truly awake? Judy Hirst sounds the alarm

We all wake up in the morning in different ways. I often holiday with two friends I have known since childhood. They are impossibly early risers, having walked to the boulangerie for our bread and possibly swam and read a book before I emerge. It is amazing that the friendship has lasted so long. Those who know me well know that I hate mornings! I always struggle into the new day. When I wake up I often feel a bit anxious, vulnerable and easily overwhelmed, not yet really ready to face the world. My temptation is to rush into being busy and into my known routine, to distract myself from what I feel; either that or pull the duvet over my head, push the snooze button and wish the world would go away.

However, most days I do just try and get on with my life. I follow my familiar patterns and walk on well – beaten tracks, which I suspect is just about what most of us are capable of doing. But this mode of living is, I like to think, a kind of sleepwalking.

“To be awake is to be alive. I have not yet seen a man who was quite awake.” This quote from Thoreau certainly rings bells with me; I am uncomfortably aware of my own unwillingness to wake up to life. Most of us, a lot of the time, sleepwalk through the landscape of our lives; the familiar and habitual are so reassuring that we are tempted to live there permanently, as though this is our ultimate reality. But, in doing so, we can lose sight of God’s presence and of the truth of ourselves – the gap between who we have been created to be and the life we are living, unaware of our real purpose…

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This is an extract from the July/August 2014 edition of Reform.

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