After 15 years, it was time to replace my mattress. I had gotten to the point where I had to sleep at the very edge, else I’d wake up with more aches than when I went to bed. But after delivery of a new mattress, I realized I could not really enjoy it, at least not consciously, since I was asleep. However, a great deal of the true joy and appreciation of the new mattress comes when I get a full, restful and supportive night’s sleep.
For many, one third of the day is spent sleeping. While we are still ourselves, there is a bit of mystery in sleep. There are fields of study and medicines for insomniacs or for those with narcolepsy who sleep too much. There is just as much research for those of us in the middle and just as many products to help us get the best sleep we can. But there is no way to tell how these products help unless someone completes a night’s sleep, or fails to do so. Sleep is the known unknown required of us all. We all participate but sleep is unique for each one of us.
Our faith journey is a known unknown also. We believe in God, but can only know Him as much as our finite brain can know the infinite. There is much study and many practices to lead us on the journey: some work, others don’t. Sometimes we can tell when they don’t work, just like the sleep aids that don’t help us sleep. But some we won’t be able to evaluate until our journey, like a night of sleep, gets us to a place of peace or causes us more pain.
The closest way our faith journey resembles a night of sleep is in our total surrender to it. Just because we give ourselves and our lives over to the Lord does not mean we are mindless or that we lose our sense of self. Rather it is when our lives are like a good night of restful sleep that we can see we are more ourselves. We become who God meant us to be and bring more of His light to the world. And each journey is as unique as the way we sleep.
It may be only when we fall asleep in Christ that we will be able to realize what a difference our faith journey has had, not only to ourselves, but to each and every soul we have met on the way. And maybe it is then that we will be able to fully enjoy the fruits it brings with the other saints in heaven.