I’ve indulged in sleep more over the holidays. I’ve been fighting a bug that has affected my breathing. Less breath, less oxygen, less energy. I’ve also been less interested in the holidays for a wide array of reasons, mostly healthy rather than cynical.
Sleep fascinates me.
It amazes me that one-third of our day is needed for sleep. Not just rest but unconsciousness. With technology and innovations, the human need for sleep has not changed. Sure, we try to do with less sleep but we have compromised our tolerance for one another as a result. We caffeinate to counteract our lack of discipline for true rest.
Isn’t it fascinating to think of all God can accomplish during our unconscious state? Occasionally we are reunited with loved ones, sometimes we feel emotions we cannot act out in reality. My daughter and I recently had this discussion as she woke from a dream before she was able to slug someone causing her anguish in real life. It led to an interesting discussion as to why God designed us to need this much time for rest. Perhaps He can reach us in our dream state unlike He can during our awakened hours? Perhaps to live out emotions that would have perilous results in reality.
I’ve gone through periods of awakening during moments of exceptional spiritual growth. I appreciate the brevity and intensity– like a spiritual boot camp. These moments aren’t the same as waking from sleep to start whirling about anxiety for the day ahead. These moments are clearly awakenings for specific prayer.
I had a period of waking almost two years ago. Asleep at 10:00 pm wide awake at 1:00 am, on the dot. In that time, it was new to me and I did not know how to respond. I acted on human impulses rather than pondering things in my heart. I still carry a regret, unable to repair a breech of trust in the middle of the night. My will, not His.
While in Belize I experienced a similar but less extreme bout of sleeplessness. I spoke about this with one of my associates on the trip. He reminded me that Paul had moments like these when God was able to speak to Him.
During the day, my mind is often churning and usually thinking of things more deeply than they require. It’s this overthinking that makes me appreciate sleep all the more. Some nights I finally make it to bed and wonder why it took me so long to return. Especially during cold winter nights, crawling under the covers is comforting– snug and warm.
Enjoy your moments of rest but remember to keep a healthy balance. It can be tempting, when the going gets rough, to let the escape of sleep command too much of your day. A routine is a good practice to keeping your internal clock regulated. Some nights I go to sleep excitedly anticipating my morning routine. I cherish quiet time with the God of the universe. Some days He wakes me sooner so we can have more time together. Occasionally I get out of bed but most days I try to keep my eyes closed to rest while my heart and mind engage in conversation. These quite whispers in the morning are precious to my soul.
I encourage you to make your way to bed sooner with anxious anticipation to start your day with quiet reflection time. A nice cup of tea or coffee sipped rather than gulped is so much more enjoyable.