When I place my head on my pillow at night, I am asleep within 5 minutes. It doesn't take me long! And when I wake up in the morning, usually my first thoughts have to do with, "How many hours until I can get back into this bed again?" I always sleep well, I just don't get enough of it!
Always sleep well ... OK, almost always. Last night, I had major insomnia. I hesitate to give it a name, but what else do you call eyes wide open and totally alert at 2 a.m.? (which incidentally represented my 21st hour straight of being awake.)
I went to a step aerobics class last night. I attend this class once a week, either one night or another. When I go to aerobics, I usually skip my afternoon coffee. Well, I suppose in a sleep-deprived moment on Monday afternoon, I forgot to skip my coffee. Consequently, between the coffee and a more intense workout than usual, I was totally awake. (I would even go far as to term it "coked out on endorphins.") It was one of those nights where you look at the clock and think, "How many more hours until I can get up?"
We went to bed around 11:30p.m. At 1:30a.m., I thought, "This is ridiculous," and got out of bed. I had a glass of milk and a bagel with cream cheese. Then I went into my office and read my Bible and caught up on my daily Bible lesson (so that worked out well at least). I sat in my rocking chair, I prayed and I tried to think sleepy thoughts. After mustering a couple of yawns, I decided I would give sleep another go. I think I must have fallen asleep after 2a.m., but awoke up again at 3:30a.m. to the sounds of puppy barking (someone had left her outside). After coaxing her in, I dropped back into bed again. By this point, I was experiencing my classic "exhaustion-related head ache and stomach ache." I thought, "Man, I am going to be a disaster today!"
At 4:50 a.m., the alarm went off. Instead of my usual thoughts of, "Good Lord, it can't be morning already," I felt relieved that I could finally get up. I went to the gym and had a good weight lifting session, surprisingly. Then I headed back home again to get on with another busy day.
I was sharing with someone recently about my belief in or reliance on supernatural energy; that I often lie in bed at night, do the math of how many hours I have to sleep, then ask God to grant me supernatural energy for the next day. He said, "Wouldn't it be better to go to bed earlier?" (My goodness, why didn't I think of that!) Today, I didn't even have to ask for supernatural energy. God knew it was a given.
Sleep and rest are such a precious gift to me. I love and need them both so much! I never take them for granted. Tonight, when my normal sleeping pattern returns and I "die" in my bed, I will wake up thinking, "Thank you Lord." I'll get the same amount of sleep I normally do -- six hours at best. But it will feel like a sleep marathon in comparison, reminding me to keep everything in perspective. I think I will continue to remind myself, when I am tempted to complain of being weary, that six hours is a luxury compared to one sleepless night.
It reminds me of that trite little saying: "I cried because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet."
Think about the areas in your life where you feel like you are experiencing deprivation or a deficit. Remind yourself to see the gift in front of you; that if all of the "little" you have was suddenly taken from you, oh how you would long for that "little" to return again! How plentiful and sufficient that previously inadequate amount would seem then! Perhaps that gives us a clue into Paul's declaration of learning to be content in all situations. Perhaps it is something we should all strive for, sleepless or not.