The great bard William Shakespeare wrote the lines “sleep, perchance to dream” in Hamlet’s Soliloquy, after the the famous phrase “to be or not to be?“. This was then used in a song in the film Get over it, Kirsten Dunst sang it about the lead character (Why he couldn’t see she liked him or preferred the other girl I don’t know?! But I digress!)
Our children often struggle to get to sleep and then stay asleep, which means our nights are often broken too! The problem with children being unwell is that they cannot always tell you what is wrong and you are unable to help them, if you don’t know, you have to go through the usual steps,
- Hungry?- something to eat.
- Thirsty?- have a drink.
- hot?- remove the duvet/quilt.
- in pain/sick?-give medicine.
I read somewhere that if you close your eyes and imagine someplace peaceful, it helps your mind settle down, but that doesn’t always work either!
Whenever I have been “too wired” to sleep or for some reason, I have not been able to settle, I remember the passage in 1 Samuel where Samuel is being called by God, he is a young boy serving in the temple and he hears a voice as he is trying to sleep, thinking it’s Eli he goes up to him (3 times!) as says “Yes, sir? You called me!” Eventually, Eli works out that Samuel is literally being “Called by God” and tells him that he needs to say “Yes lord? Please speak, your servant is listening!”
So I if i cannot sleep, I get up out of bed, go to our lounge and find a bible to read, mostly on my bible app on my phone, occasionally an actual paper copy (yes apparently you can still get them?!). I pray “Ok lord, please direct me to the passage you want me to read!” Sometimes it is random, other times I get a real sense of the passage “hitting a cord” and making sense.
Years ago I had a dream, I dreamt that I was on a mission trip to the Middle East, I arrived with some people that I knew (but cannot recall who they were) and as we walked around a village, we went to someone’s house, there was a group of young men looking at a newspaper and getting really annoyed by an article, they were getting annoyed by the initials “PC“, thinking that it stood for “Police Constable”, they were outraged by the police and how oppressive they were. I then had a quick glance and explained that the “PC” that was being referred to was a “Personal Computer“and there was nothing to be offended by!
Now, in some respects my sub-conscious may have been combining, the upcoming Police Commissioner elections, my visits to African villages and my nerdy interests in things gadgety! But, I also felt an overwhelming conviction that I have the ability to understand things that others might not and then explain them in more simpler terms that they can understand! I needed reminding of this, as I sometimes forget!
I mentioned in a blog post, about horizontal praying, I try to get into the habit of getting up early enough to read my bible, have some breakfast and then give time to “horizontally pray”, my wife thinks its a nap, but for me making a conscious action to stop moving, thinking and just rest with an empty mind (and no it’s not always empty!) helps me start the day in a calm manner!
Sleep is important for everyone, it has been proven that driving when tired is more dangerous than driving under the influence of alcohol! Sleep deprivation causes loads of problems such as:-
- Aching muscles
- confusion, memory lapses or loss
- hand tremors
- sensitivity to cold
- periorbital puffiness, commonly known as “bags under eyes” or eye bags
- increased blood pressure
- increased stress hormone levels
- temper tantrums in children
- symptoms similar to:
- Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
How often do you exhibit those signs? If you are a parent of a baby or toddler, you are probably going to have some of these, (That’s the only thing I was dreading about, when becoming a father! I love my sleep too much!)
The Men in Black movie quoted that their agents worked on Centaurian time, about 37 hours! What the human race could do with time like that! Most people I know are so busy that when they randomly have a day/evening when they don’t have to do what they normally have committed themselves to, they are either stumped or they zone out and sleep! It reminds me of a Phineas and Ferb episode where their sister candace cannot bust them as they are doing nothing wrong so she ends up questioning who she is!
I used to be heavily involved in different things in one church I went to, when I moved to another church, I felt almost without a purpose, I needed to feel of use and actually doing something! I have since moved churches quite a few times and have to be mindful of the things i offer to help with (usually nominated to help by my wife), I still want to be of use, to serve God however he needs me to.
Vicky Beeching wrote a song called Listening, it talks about being still and silent, to just seek God and listen to him! Sleep is great and necessary, but as human beings, we have to find a balance between constantly rushing round in our “busy-ness” and being too much of a “pew-filler“! God has called us to action, to be a part of the world as “salt and light“. But we also need to stop, take time out from the world so that we can be consciously, heavenly-minded and ask or hear how you can serve the purpose of God in this generation!
- God rested on the seventh day,
- God told us to not work on the “sabbath” in the ten commandments– this wasn’t because he was egotistical, but because he knew his creation needs rest and time to take stock of their lives.
- Jesus took time away to listen and talk to God
Have a break, eat a kit-kat, drink a coffee but make sure you rest, talk to God and make time to listen to him