“I will watch my ways.” — Psalm 39:1

If I were to describe my life in artistic terms, lately, I’ve felt more like a stick drawing than a textured oil painting or a three-dimensional sculpture.

Here’s some signs: the TV is on a little more, I don’t walk as much as I should, I get out of bed just minutes before I need to leave the house, and I stay up late wasting time (which is kind of why I am even blogging right now, to be honest). My writing sessions also have been unproductive. And I’m not reading much. Especially not the Bible.

This afternoon, when I did actually pick up a book, I read a chapter in Gary Thomas’s The Glorious Pursuit called “Awakened Living: Vigilance” that nailed my present situation.

Thomas writes, “Vigilance will sometimes show us we’ve sunken into a habitually bad mood or slipped into a terrible attitude. Sometimes we’ll see how we’ve been actively courting temptation or have become overcommitted. Vigilance helps us assess the truth about our lives, so we can turn from our weaknesses and find divine help.”

After reading this passage, I knew immediately what my problem has been. I’ve lost my “vigilance.” I’m not being watchful over my soul.

Vigilance is “the attitude that allows the Holy Spirit space and time to show us what’s really going on inside us.” As an introspective person, this kind of self reflection is usually a natural part of every day. But laziness and lethargy have lulled me to take my interior life for granted. The result: who I am has become more and more shallow, and my self-awareness, both my awareness of sin and my identity in Christ, is fading.

There’s nothing in our culture that makes vigilance easy for us. But the shallowness and dullness of not being watchful make vigilance the only way to truly become who God wants me to be.


Charity Singleton Craig

Charity Singleton Craig is a writer, author, and speaker, helping readers grow in their faith and experience true hope in the middle of life’s joys and sorrows. She is the author of My Year in Words: what I learned from choosing one word a week for one year and coauthor of On Being a Writer: 12 Simple Habits for a Writing Life That Lasts.

  • L.L. Barkat ,

    Perhaps you are in a time of autumn, where the lush summer growth has fallen away on the surface… but your soul has done the work of setting buds and seeds for spring.

    Grief can do this, or weariness (of being vigilant in other ways for too long).

    Take your blankets and your cups of steaming chocolate. Curl up for winter, but don’t despair. Life is pulsing beneath skins and shells and tight wrappings… waiting for the soak of warmth and rain.