There was a time when I heard people “bragging” about how little sleep they got because of how busy they were and how hard they were working. (Mind you, these were not people who were having to work multiple jobs just to be able to survive.) I am not hearing that nearly as much anymore as we are seeing an increasing number of studies on the deleterious effects on our health, both physical and mental, if we do not get enough sleep.
An increasing number of you have told me that sleep has been elusive right now. There is so much to process as we have the confluence of COVID, fires, a Presidential election on top of the normal, everyday stresses and strains of life. It definitely can affect our sleep. And, there is something about the middle of the night that seems to amplify our fears, anxieties, and worries.
Our current sermon series is based on The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World, which chronicles a conversation between the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu about joy. The author Douglas Abrams writes “I had once asked the Archbishop how he handled worry and insomnia, and he said that he thought about people all around the world who also were awake and unable to sleep. Thinking about others and remembering that he was not alone lessened his distress and his worries, as he would say a prayer for them.” I love this because when we pray for others, we find ourselves feeling less alone and more connected. This feels especially important in the middle of the night. I have my prayer list right by my bed. I know I find it comforting to start praying through it when I cannot sleep. For those of us who are having trouble sleeping, whether it be occasionally or chronically, this can keep us feeling more connected and help mitigate our sense of anxiety and isolation.
In ministry with you,
P.S. I am so looking forward to seeing you on our Coming Home to LGUMC on Sunday from 11-12:30. You will also be seeing Robbie, Marcelle, Shelley and some of your fellow church members. Please come with one thing you really want me to know about you and one hope/dream for the congregation. (See details in the Spire).