It’s Lent and all around folk are lamenting about and promising to give up something, or several things to observe this holy season in the Christian and Catholic church.
Among the most popular being sweets, carbs, meat; cussing, cursing, swearing; television, social media, internet overuse; and you may add yours here: ________________.
Like New Year Resolutions, I never seem to keep these promises to be a better Christian (tongue-in-cheek) consistently, even during the scant 40 days, and off on Sundays, of the 365 days of the year. Within just a week, I have eaten a peanut butter cookie, cussed about gun violence, and am thoroughly enjoying getting to know my new toy -- Kindle Fire HD 8.9”.
However, I have become most innately and effortlessly mindful of the gift of God of sleep: I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for you, LORD, only make me dwell in safety. (Psalm 4:8)
As one who has always enjoyed reading, writing, studying and creating until the wee hours of the morning, I have long been staying up way past Midnight, even when I had to rise early. As much as I found myself to be highly productive during those hours, I was also feeling the breakdown in my body -- malaise until mid-morning, anxious about getting off work so I get a short nap before staying up all night, weight-gain, and depression.
Underlying my creative surge between 9pm and 3am was my false responsibility for the security and satisfaction that the people I cared most for were home, usually in the house with me, sound and secure. Once they fell asleep I could stop worrying about them and release all of my desires to create. I am convicted now, that I was not trusting God’s gift of safe-keeping nor treasuring God’s gift of sleep.
This Lenten season, I commit to regulating my faith by praying for my loved ones and believing in the “Amen” anytime I feel anxiety rising about matters that concern them. I also commit to going to bed before Midnight regardless of what more I have been known to do that was good, but not good for me.
Sleep is God’s gift, I pray you join me in getting more of it, better of it, and strength from it.