So what on earth do better sleep habits have to do with walking more intimately with Christ? It seems so utterly trivial! I think, “Who’s going to read blog posts about this? And how am I going to keep at it myself, it looks so small and insignificant and all?”
But deep down I know this is the thing I most need to do, when I put on common sense — and yes, spiritual wisdom.
It’s just not what my fleshly self wants to bother with. I’d rather have instant spiritual gianthood and effortless constant communion with Christ — blink! like that! — than plod along in any mundane discipline.
Just as it would be nicer if we could transplant a mighty maple instantly instead of tuck a tiny seedling into the ground, then wait, hoping, looking for progress, only to find at first it just seems to sit there, then later starts growing so sl-o-w-ly…
It would be nicer to be able to remove a big pile of dirt with some magical mighty machine, in one huge scoop, than to pick up bucketfuls, over and over and over.
But all the past habit changes that I’ve managed, all the effective growth of my Christ-life, started with one baby step, and grew by dogged perseverance.
I suspect even momentary acts of impressive heroism seldom spring from barren soulground, but instead from one long before enriched with faith and watered with virtue and cultivated with patience and cleared of weeds and diseases.
Now, if my get-to-bed-earlier aim is just some picayune legalistic goal to make me feel noble, to enable me to look down upon all those undisciplined creatures who just let their whims dictate their sleep habits (like I’ve been doing up till now!) — then I’d better not pursue it at all. (Worse than a waste of time.)
But I know this small undone thing hinders my attaining the higher goals I long to reach. And I’m supposed to get rid of every hindrance along with the sin that so easily entangles me, to run the course marked out for me (Heb 12:1 NIV). Lack of sleep is a hindrance for me, and it’s high time I admit it!
I just don’t function at optimum level. I fizzle as the day goes on. My attention runs to deficit. I drop things, lose things I just had a minute ago, and find myriad other frustrations trying my patience like flies in my face.
So, if I can, by the grace of God… better sleep habits in 2012!
But why this early-to-bed stuff? Why not just sleep later in the morning? And maybe pursue all my relational time with God in the evenings?
Linked to On Your Heart Tuesday
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