Life Is Hard, Don’t Make It Harder

I remember bringing both of my girls home and one of the first things I learned was that they were backwards.

Kids come into this world not realizing that there is a cycle to life. Go to bed when its dark, wake up when its light. They didn’t see light and dark for the first 9 months of their life. Instead they felt motions. So when Mom was up and about (during the day), they would be rocked to sleep by her walk. When she laid down to sleep, well, that meant it was time to search out the bladder and kick it repeatedly, because why not. Once we brought them into the world, it took quite a while to get their schedules to adjust. So, for the first couple of weeks, I was up all night with them. I still remember telling people, “this parenting thing wouldn’t be so hard if I could just get some sleep.”

The reality is that nothing we were doing was particularly difficult. Making formula or changing a diaper doesn’t require an advanced engineering degree. If you are running on zero sleep though (because random black out naps doesn’t count), then everything is exponentially harder. I would stare right at the thing I was looking for and not be able process that that was the thing. The best analogy I can come up with is that its like a fog and you can just barely see past your nose and you’re walking in mud, not normal mud, but the mud that sticks to everything, including itself resulting in layers of mud that eventually weight fifty pounds. That is what thinking is like with zero sleep.

I know we normally talk about faith here, but I can’t think of anything to say right now because I did not sleep the night before.

We were not created to be spirit alone. We are spirit and body. That means our spirit impacts our bodies, and our bodies impact our spirits. Sleep is necessary for our bodies to function properly. So if our body isn’t functioning properly, and our bodies impact our spirits, then a lack of sleep can negatively impact our spiritual life. How does reading the Bible go when lacking sleep, especially with a KJV? I’ve read passages that floated right over my head because my brain was too tired to grasp the lesson. Prayer? Not happening. If I stop moving and close my eyes, I’m falling asleep. The ability to defend the mind from intrusive thoughts is also hamstrung. We need our reason and memory to be sharp so we can stand firm on the promises of Christ. If we are too tired to recall those promises or too slow to respond to intrusive thoughts, they can get a foothold in our thoughts.

Life is difficult. Christ told us it would be. We shouldn’t make it any more difficult though by not getting enough good sleep. We always think about the religious disciplines when we think about caring for soul, but I think we need to consider our physical disciplines also.

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