Just Say "No"...To Sleepwalking

Dancing through life, skimming the surface
Gliding where turf is smooth
Life's more painless for the brainless
Why think too hard when it's so soothing
Dancing through life, no need to tough it
When you can slough it off as I do
Nothing matters but knowing nothing matters
It's just life so keep dancing through

These are some of the lyrics to “Dancing Through Life” from the musical “Wicked.” They are sung by the dashing Fiyero, who woos the popular Glinda. The lyrics glorify living the “unexamined life,” a carefree approach to existence that glibly enjoys all that life has to offer. “Dancing through life” is one approach, among many, to living life. Its benefits include avoiding the sacrifices of self-restraint, ignoring the troubles of others and eschewing the asking of any hard questions. Such an approach facilitates extravagant self-expression and the pursuit of whatever looks good at the time.

Few of us end up living as brazenly as Fiyero’s song advocates, including Fiyero himself, whose character undergoes significant growth. I do have concerns, however, about another popular way of life, namely sleepwalking. I suspect this lifestyle is a far more prevalent temptation for Christians.

Sleepwalking, as I am using the word, could be defined as going through the motions of life without conscious engagement. We live in a world that is often stressful, complicated, even overwhelming. To help us cope, we settle into familiar routines and comfortable habits. We avoid new challenges or anything that requires fresh thinking. Our youthful dreams of “seizing the day” get downgraded to “living for the weekend.” The net result is “sleepwalking,” milling about our days in survival mode and wondering, “Why do I feel so empty and restless?”

So I ask you: Are you sleepwalking through life? Are your decisions on cruise control? Are your daily routines energizing your life in Christ or simply maintaining a vague illusion of control? Has your fear of failure (or desire for financial stability) locked you into vocational misery? Does the challenge of thinking in new ways feel too overwhelming to attempt? As you seek to live abundantly for Christ, I challenge you: just say “no” to sleepwalking.

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