"The past couple years have been exhausting."
"Summer is non-stop busyness."
"It feels like life is never going to slow down."
Do any of those phrases resonate with you? Maybe all of them? Welcome to the club. Often, it feels like there's so much in life that's competing for our attention that it can be difficult just to keep up. And as Dave Sullivan reminded us on Sunday, that can breed an indifference in our spiritual lives that can feel like a coping mechanism but actually kills our joy and vitality.
How do we fight against that indifference? Especially when fighting the indifference feels like just another item on an already-bloated to-do list? We wake up to the true reality of our savior and the abundant life he's invited us into. Consider David's words in Psalm 57:7-11:
My heart is confident, God, my heart is confident. I will sing; I will sing praises. Wake up, my soul! Wake up, harp and lyre! I will wake up the dawn. I will praise you, Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations. For your faithful love is as high as the heavens; your faithfulness reaches the clouds. God, be exalted above the heavens; let your glory be over the whole earth.
David's heart was confident in the God he served. He knew his love, he'd experienced his salvation, and he wasn't in doubt about who God was or what he could do. The story of his life bears out the truth of that declaration. And yet, his heart wasn't always caught up to that truth. He had to call his emotions to wake up to the reality that his mind knew, but easily lost track of in the midst of the trials and stresses of life.
Often, the remedy to the spiritual indifference we feel isn't to add another item to a bloated to-do list, it's to call our souls to wake up to the wonder of the God who created us and our world, who has redeemed us through the life and work of Jesus, and who invites us into new and abundant life as we join him in his disciple-making work. It's less learning something new and more reminding ourselves of the reality that we all-too-easily forget.
What does that look like practically? For David it started with music, with the harp and lyre and singing praises that could wake the dawn. I've experienced the truth in that myself. There are few gifts that God has given us that have the transformative power over our emotions that music does. When we really give ourselves to singing together on a Sunday morning, our hearts rarely exit that experience the same way they entered it. When we listen to music that captures our emotions and reminds us of God's incredible redeeming love, our outlook on the rest of the day is often reshaped, even if our circumstances aren't. Few things in everyday life can help wake up an indifferent soul like music.
What else helps wake up your soul? Some things are constants - intentionally digging into God's word and allowing him to speak into your life through it. Pausing from a busy schedule and spending a few minutes in intentional prayer. Other things are different for each person. I find going outside - taking a walk, going on a hike, just spending a bit without a roof over my head - often does wonders in reorienting my soul to an awareness of who God is. When I expose myself to his creation, I create an opportunity for him to more easily grab my attention and remind me of the reason I'm alive - not to simply get through another day in survival mode, but to exalt him above the heavens and see his glory fill the whole earth.
And that's a purpose that's worth waking up for.