Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Losing Sleep = Losing Time

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All is quiet. None but the night owl stirs. The clock ticks on and the candle burns at both ends, but she takes no notice. The wee hours tiptoe by until her eyes are blurry and every breath climbs to the surface as an insistent yawn, begging for the soft slow breath of sleep. Finally the stubborn night owl admits defeat and readies for sleep, knowing the time is short until a new day's light must be reckoned with.

She knows she shouldn't. She wishes she hadn't. She promises she'll do better, and means it . . . until tonight comes, and then she does it all again.

It isn't because she can't sleep; it isn't that she's worried or wide awake or uncomfortable. She simply loves the quiet. She is weak in the face of the intoxicating prospect of uninterrupted hours all her own. No matter how much she loves her people (which she does, fully, deeply, passionately), she needs the solitude to recharge. Sometimes she reads, sometimes she writes, sometimes she studies, sometimes she simply is carried away by flickering images of an electric window on the world.

Morning dawns. A beautifully gentle classical music ringtone is no disguise for the rudeness of the alarm the reluctant night owl is never ready to hear. Dragging, she rises because she must, not because she's thankful and certainly not in joyful anticipation of all the day holds. Oh, she'll get there eventually, but the awakening is always unwelcome.

The night owl, even as stubborn as she can be, knows this isn't good for her--knows she needs rest. Her swollen girth and wrinkled brow taunt her from the mirror, the undeniable evidence of her folly. Her pounding head and knotted neck should be reason enough, but she forgets so soon the price she pays for her nightly forays into midnight's magical realm.

It is a lie that she gains time in her day by burning the candle longer--her day is only half-bright because of her fatigue, and her mind is only half-quick. The time she thought she gained was only stolen from her tomorrow; it might even lessen the number of them if she's not careful.

"Even in the night his heart does not rest. This also is vanity."  Ecclesiastes 2:23b ESV 
"It is vain for you to rise up early, to take rest late, to eat the bread of [anxious] toil--for He gives [blessings] to His beloved in sleep."  Psalm 127:2 AMP
"Blessings to His beloved in sleep." Can it be that once again, the Creator knew all along what science is just discovering? No surprise there--of course He knew! In the practice of the purposeful rest of sleep, God has built in blessings born of His love.

When the night owl pushes away sleep, she pushes away the blessings too.

Vital Health.
Efficient Body.
Bright Eyes.
Alert Mind.
Energetic Heart.
Joyful Spirit.
Inspired Creativity.
Abundant Life.
Maximized Time.

Why on earth would she push away such precious gifts?
Why, indeed!

Losing sleep does not gain time. 
Gaining rest does not lose it.


Is there a night owl in your house?
How do you overcome your night owl tendencies?
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