‘In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.’ (Acts 2:17)
I love to sleep. I go to bed and read for about 45 minutes before the light goes off. Then, I offer God my prayers and then roll over. I am blessed with the ability to fall asleep quickly. My issue is that throughout my life I have required eight hours of sleep. I’ve never been able to function with less. When my wife, Jill, was doing shift work, as a nurse, she could get little sleep for days at a time, then crash and sleep long hours, and catch up. If I tried that, I would literally pass out. But why? What is going on when we sleep that is so important?
Writer Markham Heid, in an article on sleep says, “According to Dr. Leila Kheirandish-Gozal, a sleep research and professor of pediatrics at the University of Missouri School of Medicine, ‘We also still don’t know why we dream.’” Heid continues, “What experts do know is that sleep is a surprisingly active and fertile time for the brain. Sleep seems to play a crucial role in helping your brain sort, process, store, and make use of the stuff you encounter during your waking hours.”
Successfully organizing and processing our thoughts is the road to a healthy and meaningful life. When we are processing properly, we trust ourselves and have a clear idea of who we are and what we stand for in life. When we are stressed and exhausted, we cruise through life reacting and feeling out of control.
Living a life of faith requires the ability to process our lives and invite God’s Spirit into the process. The Spirit is incapable of making much of a difference in a mind that is incapable of processing due to sleep deprivation. Today, plan how you can get eight hours of sleep. Perhaps that means not watching television so late. It will not be easy to break your routine, but it is worth the effort. Consider sleep a spiritual discipline and watch how God blesses your sleep hours and the way you meet each new day.