Lately, I’ve Been, I’ve Been Losin’ Sleep

In the halcyon days of my youth, I was able to sleep.  A lot.  Now, I’m not saying I slept all the time.  Only that I seldom had trouble falling asleep and never wanted to rise at the appropriate hour.  It’s different now.  Many nights, I lie awake into the wee hours and am more fitful in rest.  Often (like or unlike Paul), I wish for the day.  In the morning, I hop out of bed bleary-eyed and ragged but ready to regain my heavy load.  To my surprise, I do not seem to miss the sleep once I’ve hit my stride.  I suppose some study will say that I do, but life goes on, the world keeps turning, and I get back on that horse.

There are times when the mind is too busy for sleep.  Some time ago, a relative told me, “I can’t turn all this stuff off.”  I’ve been there.  In such a state, the sufferer may not feel the need for rest though it is surely present.  As a matter of fact, the night may prove inconvenient, an imposition on productivity.  There are certainly not enough hours in the day, and the hours there are come at the wrong times.  Patience is one of those things that the other guy needs to learn, but each of us will face issues which can’t resolve themselves quick enough or wait for the light of day.  Jesus said no one could work in the night.

Troubling thoughts will rob us of sleep.  Indecisiveness, sins and concerns of any kind may hinder entrance to the dreamworld.  In a way, this can be good.  Perhaps, you’ve had dreams that were more troubling than wakefulness or were a continuation of same.  Slumber provided no escape from the issues.  It’s like nightmare on whatever street you live.  Good luck when you find yourself in these climes.  While we must believe in the ability to control our thoughts, the doing is more difficult than the concept.  Paul said we could captivate our musings, but choice alone will not facilitate change.

We may lose sleep dreaming about the things that we could be.  Anticipation of the future will drive slumber from me.  The forward look may be forgiving or foreboding, but the effect is the same.  Wide eyes.  My old friend, regret, often enters the arena without invitation and overstays his welcome.  What will be and what might have been?  It’s hard to admit the truth that the past certainly is, and the future may well be beyond our control.  The frustrated are a restless lot and lose hours meant for restoration in dissipation.  A futile enterprise, chasing phantoms, yet we want what we don’t have and don’t know.

Hello, darkness, my old friend.  When the night closes in, the shade makes for thoughtful
conversation.  It’s a time for reflection which need not lead to grief.  Rough edges, clearly seen in the unforgiving light, manifest differently in shadow.  The exchange may be unspoken and with self, but that it happens is more important than the format.  Deep thought is hard to come by in the daily hubbub of living but may be attainable in the dark, cool night.  We will show a deficit if we do not have serious, sustained talks with ourselves.  Scripture urges use to examine ourselves as to the nature of our failures and faith.

Don’t waste solitary moments.  It may seem there is little we can do in the night watches, but this is not the case.  I have learned to use such times as opportunities to talk to God.  Silence sharpens the senses, and I am more able to clarify my thoughts in prayer during the lonely hours.  They come often to me now.  Rather than dread moments of dim solitude, I embrace them as occasions to visit with the Savior.  Occasionally, in Bible times, our Lord used the night watches to call certain to Him.  The small voice of the great God may be better distinguished in the calm.  In the night passages, when God speaks, I will be listening.


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