Sprowl_Jonathan_OKAbout Me

By day, I’m an editor for Christianity Today. When I’m not there, you can probably find me tucked away in a corner somewhere reading. I also enjoy playing the piano. Occasionally, I’m even brave enough to try some black keys (mostly I just stick to the key of C).

I’m an avid movie-watcher, especially fond of anything by Christopher Nolan or Terrence Malick. But don’t let that fool you into thinking I’m one of those guys who only watches “films.” I’m just as likely to watch Anchorman or Cool Runnings.

When I’m ready to move around, I usually play basketball, or go for walks winding through the neighborhoods behind my house. When I’m really ready to move around, I love to travel. So far I’ve only been to Western Europe and Israel, with Hawaii, Alaska, and a bit of Canada thrown in, but stay tuned. I’m not done yet.

If you’re thirsty for more, just give me some coffee. I do my best talking over a cup of joe.

Why Waking to Life?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated with dreams and sleep. I wrote my first research paper on the topic of sleep. My two favorite movies prominently feature lucid dreaming (The Matrix, Inception). One of my favorite CDs is titled “Dreaming Out Loud” (One Republic). I’m a night owl who needs a good 8 hours of sleep and has to set his alarm 30-45 minutes early to make up for his gratuitous snoozing. I tend to be a dreamer who could chase rabbit trails through the labyrinth of his mind all day.

Sometimes I get so lost in passively observing the things going on around me that I forget to live. If I’m not careful, all this sleeping and dreaming and wishing and hoping and waiting starts to stifle and define me.

So, ‘Waking to Life’ is a reminder not just to dream, but to live. Another of my favorite movies is Tree of Life. Among other things, it’s a shameless celebration of the beauty of life, and an encouragement to boldly live it with grace and without fear. In the same vein, this blog is where my thoughts become concrete, where I stop to organize them and share them with you. This is where I celebrate life lived, lessons learned, experiences gained. I hope my thoughts will be helpful and inspiring to you, as well as to me.

But there is a second, deeper layer to ‘Waking to Life,’ best expressed in a poem by John Donne:

Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those whom thou think’st thou dost overthrow
Die not, poor death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul’s delivery.
Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke; why swell’st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more, death, thou shalt die.

Death is not the end. Death is a short sleep before we wake to eternal life. The Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15 says it this way: “The last enemy to be destroyed is death. … those who have died will be raised to live forever.”

‘Waking to Life’ is a reminder that this life is the dress rehearsal for eternity. Because of Christ’s sacrifice for our sins, we have the hope of life eternal. Do you share this hope with me? If not, I’d encourage you to check out the book of John in the Bible and C. S. Lewis’ book Mere Christianity. I promise you won’t regret it.


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