Truly Awake

A few years ago, if I had heard someone describe him or herself as “woke” I would have been tempted to correct their grammar. I don’t have a t-shirt admitting “I’m silently correcting your grammar,” but I do it. Yes, I do know what it means, but I’m still a bit puzzled by the whole concept, mostly because it seems to be a way to look down on those who don’t share the same opinions.

I would rather describe myself as awake. C.S. Lewis, in Letters to Malcom: Chiefly on Prayer, said, “We may ignore, but we can nowhere evade the presence of God. The world is crowded with Him. He walks everywhere incognito. And the incognito is not always hard to penetrate. The real labour is to remember, to attend. In fact, to come awake. Still more, to remain awake.”

This is what practicing God’s presence is – being awake, aware, cognizant – of him, who he is, how he is working and creating, his love and how he wants us to participate with him in loving others. I often pray God will keep me aware of him as I go through my day because I know how easy it is to become distracted and let my eyes stray from gazing at my Savior. Brother Lawrence practiced his presence when he peeled potatoes. For me, washing dishes has become my time to come back from distractions and focus on God.

Being awake to our incognito God is, to me, a much better way to go through life, with eyes and heart completely open to the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit.