Friday, January 23, 2009

No Longer Asleep at my Post

I am so used to falling into bed exhausted.

I usually wring out the day and catch the last precious drops, whereupon I fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow. I have spent quite a few of my "early nights" wondering why I went to bed so early; tossing and turning until just before it was time to get up, when I suddenly felt tired.

But last night--oh happy night--I went to bed at 11.00 p.m. and only woke up here and there, just long enough to enjoy the delicous thrill of discovering that it was "only" 11.45 or 4 o'clock.

I woke up at 4.50, just before my alarm went off, and was able to get up without feeling like I had to stay for the "few minutes" that always turn into half an hour (time moves fast when you're in bed.) I've always felt that Proverbs 26:14 was a little harsh. Does anybody just leap out of bed in the morning?

This morning though, I felt rested and it was wonderful. It felt like the right time to get up.

I was so tempted the night before at 10.30, to stay up and start working on one of the projects from work that I need to finish this week.

I would have unpacked my laptop, put on some music, made some tea. I would also have started to eat everything in sight for energy, and also as a reward for "working so hard."

How many unhealthy habits can one person engage in at once?

I hesitated, said, "Nah," and turned off the light. I changed my voice message at work to say that I would not be in the office until 1.30 p.m. the next day, and made the decision to work in the quiet of home, with a rested brain, on the tasks that awaited me. It was a good decision on so many levels.

Was it coincidence that my reading this morning took me to Mark 14:32-41? For here the disciples sleep the sleep of the exhausted; with which I am all too familiar, while Jesus agonized alone in the Garden of Gesthemane.

I know so well what it is to have irresistably "heavy eyes," exhausted eyes, as these men seem to have had. They fell asleep at their post. The most important post of history.

But how many times have I slept through my post; through the time I intended to spend with God, and which would have made a vital difference to me, and perhaps to some others? I just know that I am so grateful for making some progress in the right direction.

Mark Buchanan, in his book, The Rest of God, says that we try through medication, technology, discipline, cleverness and sheer willfulness, to figure a way around our God imposed need for stillness, but it always comes back to take its toll.

I know it. I think I'll go to bed!


Dave Hingsburger said...

What a difference a good rest will make. My schedule is the office, bed early up really early. I'm in bed before nine and up somewhere between three and four ... I like the mornings, but I'm still rushed to get out in time for the bus!

Belinda said...

Dear Dave,
What a worthy example you are of "early to bed, early to rise!" Last night I had intended to write that post and then get to the stuff I "just had to do" for work, but I preached so well to myself that by the time I finished writing, I just couldn't do it! I went to bed, as I said I was going to, and although I didn't sleep as well last night, I rested, and this morning I am raring to go. Look out world, here she comes!

Marilyn said...

So true, that quote, "we figure a way around our God imposed need for stillness..."

Yesterday I felt such a need for stillness, I just sat mid-day, in the winter sun. I was tempted to wonder what was WRONG with me, but it was just a need to stop.

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Belinda said...

Thank you for the encouragement and for taking time to comment!