What Am I Grateful for Today? Sleep

37 Gale-force winds arose, and waves crashed against the boat so that the boat was swamped. 38 But Jesus was in the rear of the boat, sleeping on a pillow. They woke him up and said, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re drowning?” (Mark 4:37-38, Common English Bible).

Last night, when I sat down to write this morning’s post, I was so tired I could barely keep my eyes open. I had not slept well for a couple of nights before and I think I was at the point of exhaustion.

I decided, if I wanted to write something coherent, I really needed to put the computer down and go to bed. When I got up I could write the blog.

When I got up this morning, I had a couple of issues I had to address, particularly at the church so I got further delayed. That is why this blog hadn’t been posted before now.

My lack of sleep over the past few days and my total need for sleep last night got me to thinking about how we need sleep. We need rest. We need time for our bodies to recharge for what lies ahead of us.

If I am sleeping good, I never give it a second thought. If, like the past few days of not getting enough or quality sleep, I think of little else.

I had a friend several years ago who used to say, “You sleep when you have nothing better to do.” He would say it tongue cheek. While he probably slept less than most of us, he did sleep and was usually asleep during some of the times most of us are asleep.

Whether you are not getting sleep because of things on your mind or because, like I was the previous three nights, something physical is wrong, it drags you down. The longer things go on that prevent you from sleep, the more you will be unable to function.

God designed us with the need for rest. Remember, after God created the world and all that is in it the first six days, God rested on the seventh day. If we are created in the image of God, that says to me, we need rest as well. We need to take days off to let our minds relax and rest. We also need sleep, rest, each day to keep our minds functioning clearly.

In today’s lesson, the boat the disciples find themselves in is being battered by the wind and waves of a fierce storm. The weather was so bad, their small boat was in danger of being overcome. While all this is going on, Jesus is in the back of the boat, taking a nap. The disciples are not real happy with Jesus because it would seem he doesn’t care. He naps while they die. When they wake Jesus, he orders the wind and the waves to be still. The disciples are then amazed.

The point of all that is not in the story itself. The point is, Jesus needed sleep too. And, if Jesus needed sleep, what would ever make us think we would not. Contrary to my old friend’s saying, “You sleep when you have nothing better to do,” you do need sleep.

When I woke up this morning, I had a good night’s sleep. I was rested. I was feeling awake and alert. I was grateful for that good night’s sleep. But, I also know, that whether I am the one who prevents my sleep tonight or that something else beyond my control prevents sleep, I will be back where I started.

As I woke up this morning, I was grateful for a good night’s sleep.

That is what I am grateful for today. What about you? What are you grateful for today? Write it in your journal. Then, go tell someone. It might be just what they need to awaken their soul.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,
Keith

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

 

Author:

Spirita Spiro (Esperanza for "Spirit's Breath) is rather new in my life. But the blog is not. I began writing a blog several years ago. It lived under the title, "The Pastor Ponders." Over the years I have tried several different names and "The Pastor Ponders" always seemed to fit best. I am trying again with Spirita Spiro. For 27 years I was a full-time pastor in the United Methodist Church. This year, August 2018, I semi-retired (I can't actually retire quite yet) and began teaching social studies. It is something I have always wanted to do and if I was going to do this, I needed to make it sooner rather than later. So, I made the move. I thought with the career change there also needed to be a name change to the blog and other things, such as spiritual direction. Spirita Spiro is my attempt to share some of my thoughts. I often share what I am thinking with my dog "Bishop," but he keeps his thoughts to himself. He will even go to sleep sometimes while I am sharing my thoughts with him. The truth is, if it doesn't involve getting his ears scratched, his belly rubbed or some kind of treat, he really doesn't care. I will say this for him, he never argues with me or tells me I am wrong. So, I decided to share some of my thoughts with whoever might come across this blog in their ramblings around the Internet. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 27 years as a full-time United Methodist pastor. Most recently I served as pastor of First United Methodist Church in Sweeny, Texas. I have also served United Methodist congregations throughout East Texas including rural Madison County (Elwood UMC), Lovelady (First UMC) and Kennard (Center Hill UMC), Canton (First UMC), rural Smith County (Mt. Sylvan UMC and Union Chapel UMC), Grapeland (First UMC), Tyler (Pleasant Retreat UMC), Santa Fe (Aldersgate UMC), Freeport (First UMC) and Oyster Creek (Oyster Creek UMC), Diboll (First UMC), and now Sweeny (First UMC). My wife Cindy and I have been married for over 40 years. We have two grown sons. Wayne and his wife Nikki and all our grandsons (Kaleb, Noah, and Jaxon) live in Southern California. Christopher and his wife Morgan and both our granddaughters (Jenna and Natalie) live in Tyler Texas. I enjoy preaching and all aspects of preaching from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading, playing the guitar as well as a bit of drawing. I have spent quite a bit of time over the past two years working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I sing bass with a local barbershop chorus called The Coastalaires. I have also recently begun doing a little wood carving. I also enjoy playing with Bishop, something he likes a great deal better than listening to my thoughts. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, specializing in Microcomputers from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. When I was a student at Carolina, the school was in Iron Station North Carolina. They have since relocated to Manassas Virginia (Yeah, go figure, a school named Carolina geographically in Virginia). This blog is mostly devotional writing, but there are other things here too. Just about every week I will either post my sermon manuscript or a video of the worship service. On occasion, I will post something I see in society. Occasionally I write a short story, a poem, or a song and will post it here too. I will say this, my motivations for writing this blog are really selfish. I write it to get what I am thinking out of my head and onto something a bit more permanent. They say, after all, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. And, should you desire, you can one-up Bishop and actually tell me what you think. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. With Joy and Thankfulness, Keith Sweeny, Texas May 2018

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