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?

Next time…


Linked to On Your Heart Tuesday


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5 thoughts on “The Big Importance of Small Things (Z-z-z)

  1. Accountability. Encouragement. One. step. at. a. time. I lost yardage last night. Physical discipline leads to Spiritual Discipline. Thanks, Sylvia, I do need you to write about sleep and perseverance. Funny isn’t it, that rest is so hard for some of us? Physical and Spiritual.

    1. Laurie,
      You said a mouthful! “Funny isn’t it, that rest is so hard for some of us?” That probably sums up the problem exactly! I’m going to remember that! “Make every effort to enter His rest.”

      So you lost yardage. I almost did too! And for just that not-letting-myself-rest reason. Keeping on going. But I checked myself in time, got into that nightgown, and made it to closed eyes before 10:30. Couldn’t sleep immediately, from getting too wound up beforehand. But it wasn’t long, and my, have I felt better these last two mornings! More alert. Like I have a new lease on life. Just from a little extra sleep. Wonderful prayer time this morning! Why didn’t I do this long ago??

      Anyway, no big problem, “losing yardage.” Start from where you are. You could even start all over, going from Jan 4 to Feb 4, if you wanted. But we aren’t aiming for 100% here, just enough repetition to start cultivating a routine. Every night we get to bed at our target time builds on that.

      God bless. You’re keeping *me* going!

  2. I have to admit that I go to bed way too late. I just have trouble sleeping lately. I go with my husband but after he falls asleep, I often get up. It would be ok if I didn’t get on the internet but that keeps me distracted. thank you for the reminders here.

  3. Shanda,
    You sound just like me!
    Plus, if I have it right, you lived on the other side of the world for a long time, didn’t you? If so, somewhere in your subconscious memory, day is night and night is day! This shows the power of habit. And that we need both to make new habits and unmake old ones! (Physical factors, of course, play a role, but I’m finding this “small” habit-building stuff can get powerful.) Thanks for stopping by and commenting. God bless — with His rest! 🙂

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