There is something indefinable about being in the present moment.  

Our theme for this year is “Awake O My Soul” — taken from Psalm 57, and we also hear it in the Canon of St. Andrew. When we read this verse we are calling upon our own souls to wake up.  

What are we waking up from? What are we waking up to?

One of my all time favorite middle school nostalgia songs is, Cooler Than Me by Mike Posner. Mike is forever tied to my childhood memories, but recently he has had my attention for a new reason.  

In 2019, he walked across the United States. After the passing of his dad and one of his good friends, he set out on a journey. He documents this journey in the music video of his song, Live Before I Die.

In the music video for his song, Move On, he explains why he decided to do this. He sings, “Beginnings always hide themselves in ends.” In tragedy he saw hope; hope to make a change in the way he was living, hope to truly wake up to life.  

In his song, Live Before I Die, he says, “Dear Lord, won’t you please give me wisdom, grant me peace, ‘Cause i just wanna live before I die.” 

When we say the phrase “live before I die,” we may think it means doing as many things as we can before we leave this world. However, we have the potential to grow closer to truly living or dying each day. The way we live out our moments allow us to choose to be awake to life or stay asleep.  

In Genesis 28:16, Jacob, upon waking from sleep, proclaimed, “the Lord is in this place and I did not know it.” Christ waits for us at each moment. We must remind our souls of this truth and to be attentive to each second we have been given.  

Right now we are starting back at school. Many of us are coming back online. We may need a call to awake our souls now more than ever! With all that we have experienced the last few months, it may be difficult to feel that we are directing and not drifting through our lives. How can we wake up? How can we truly live at a time like this?   

In the Canon of St. Andrew, translated by Sister Katherine and Sister Thekla, we hear, “Awake, O my soul…that thou gain a mind to see God.” (pg.97)  

In A Message for our Graduates of 2020 on YouTube, His Grace Bishop Anthony said, “Keep Christ before you, the Holy Spirit beside you, and the Father above you.” If we were to carry this out in our lives each moment would be fulfilled. “He died for us, so that we could live for him.” This is how we may live before we die: to be seeking, guided, and fueled by our Lord at all times and at every hour.  

Even after Mike Posner began his journey he faced challenges. After traversing over half of our country, he was bitten by a rattlesnake and had to learn to walk again before he could continue. We don’t know what is in store for us, but what we can do is call upon ourselves, at every moment, to be awake to Christ extending to us. Awake, O My Soul, so that I may truly live before I die. 

Alethia Placencia

Alethia Placencia

Publications Student Leader

My name is Alethia Placencia! I am a Senior at the University of Kentucky. Christ often reveals himself through the people in your life. I’m so grateful for the way He has worked through OCF and those I’ve met through this ministry!