I just finished watching the show “Girlfriends”.  I am not a die-hard fan, but the times when I do catch it, I enjoy it.

Anyway, this particular episode surrounded a woman who was a victim of domestic violence.  When one of the main characters on the show confronted the woman, she got angry and defended her husband.  Later that evening, some male neighbors overheard a fight and went to the couple’s door.  They confronted the husband and he got defensive.  They confronted the wife and she told them to say out of it and then begged for her husband’s forgiveness.

It’s a sad and unfortunately nowhere-close-to-being-fictional tale, and yet it got me to thinking about something I heard on the radio earlier today.  There is a syndicated radio show here in Nashville called, “The Michael Baisden Show” and while I find myself not agreeing more than agreeing with the host’s observations, there was something his sidekick, comedian, George Willborn said that has been ringing in my head like a big church bell all evening:  “Some people are asleep, some people are unconscious.  You can wake the ones who are asleep up, but the unconscious you usually have to wait for them to wake up on their own.”

Wow, wow and double wow.

Being that I am a journalist (and some would probably go so far as to say an investigative journalist with the amount of questions that I always have), I decided to dig deeper.  First, I went to www.dictionary.com and looked up the definition of “asleep” and “unconscious”:

Asleep: in a dormant or inactive state; indifferent; numb

Unconscious: without awareness, sensation or cognition; temporarily devoid of consciousness; not consciously realized, planned or done

For safe measure, I decided to look up “conscious” as well:

Conscious: aware of one’s own existence, sensations, thoughts, surroundings; fully aware of or sensitive to something; known to oneself; felt; aware of what one is doing

I wonder, when it comes to how we live our lives, how many of us are “asleep”, “indifferent” or “numb” and how many of us are “unconscious”, not aware of our own existence and surroundings, or what we are doing to ourselves.

I remember when I found myself pregnant for the fourth time, one of my friends said to me, “When are you gonna stop doing this to yourself?”  I had no answer for her.  I had been in that situation before—giving myself to a man who didn’t want to make a commitment only to “find” myself carrying his child—and I had also had friends who tried to “shake me out of my slumber”.  But, for some reason, I continued to find myself back in the cycle of lust and devastation over and over and over…and over again. People would tell me I was beautiful.  People would tell me I was smart.  People would tell me that God had a plan—and man for my life.  People would tell me that I was better than settling for someone else’s table scraps of attention and affection.  People would tell me that I needed to stop.  But, it seemed that for years…and years…and years, those “reality checks” did me absolutely no good.  You see, I wasn’t asleep; I was unconscious.

So what do you do if you find yourself being in this state of mind?  Well, being that I believe in the Word of God, I will take it one step further than Mr. Willborn.  While I wholeheartedly agree that ONLY YOU—not God, not your Mama, not your pastor, not your friends, not your spouse—can choose to place yourself into the beginning stages of awareness when it comes to accepting the truth about who you are and what you deserve, once you make that decision, you’d be amazed how much biblical teaching can redeem some of the time you may have lost “passed out” in your foolishness.

I have several friends who are not avid Bible readers and I often tell them, “If you try Proverbs and Ecclesiastes for just one month”, it will change you life.  Why do I think that?  Because they are filled with life principles that can apply to anyone no matter where they are in their personal life’s journey.

“The words of a wise man’s mouth are gracious, but the lips of a fool shall swallow him up…”—Ecclesiastes 10:12

“Whoever hides hatred has lying lips, and whoever spreads slander is a fool.”—Proverbs 10:18

“He who oppresses the poor to increase his riches, and he who gives to the rich, will surely come to poverty.”—Proverbs 22:16

“Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before unknown men.”—Proverbs 22:29

“For a harlot is a deep pit, and a seductress is a narrow well.”—Proverbs 23:27

Just these five gems alone, if taken seriously, can make significant changes in anyone’s life.  See, when it comes to achieving a state of spiritual consciousness, one of the best ways to become aware of who we are meant to be is to read what the Bible says about it.  So many of us are living the same lives day in and day out because we are not making ourselves “conscious” of options other than the ones that we are settling for.  The Bible says that faith comes from hearing and hearing from the Word of God (Romans 10:18).  The Bible also says that if you have faith of a mustard seed, you can move mountains (Matthew 17:20).

So, why do so many of us remain the valleys of our real life soap operas?

Because we have faith, but we put it into hearing everything but God’s Word.  We listen to who the radio says we are, talk shows say we are, movies (and uh, films) say we are, our friends say we are, but only in God do we find the kind of power to shake us from a life of compromise into a state of tranquility and peace.

So, let me just say this.  If you find yourself being numb to what you already know God says about you and your life, then I pray this brief reminder will awaken your senses to get you back on track.  But, if you have been feeling lost and in a state of hopelessness because you were not aware of your worth—in other words, if you were “spiritually unconscious”, just know that the mere fact that you are reading this means that you are coming to your senses faster than you think.

And, if you are the person with a friend who won’t wake up out of their dysfunction, I recommend that you ask God to help you discern the difference between what’s it’s like to be asleep and unconscious.  Sometimes what we think is helping someone is only further harming them because we are not effectively meeting their area of need.

See, the cool thing about the ending of “Girlfriends” was that the battered wife ended up asking for help.  Yeah, it was after her husband had beat her for the umpteenth time, but as long as she was alive, there was still time to make some changes, and because she knew she needed to, there’s a greater change for long-lasting success.

You are no different.  Whether you’ve been asleep and just needed a reminder to wake you up or unconscious and finding yourself feeling a little disoriented because of the way you’e been living all of this time, from personal experience I call assure you that as long as you are living and breathing, things can change.

I mean, look at it this way: If you had the ability to wake yourself up enough to see that what you thought was working for you simply isn’t anymore, trust me, you’re not as “drowsy” as you think.