Falling Asleep

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Sleep seems to increase in value as I increase in age. As a child it was required and as a teenager it was tolerated, but as an adult it’s longed for. Some days I anticipate it like I do a UPS package; I spend my entire day wondering when it will arrive. When can I sneak off and slip into my winter slumberland? My duvet is a lid on a treasure box; my pillow a tarmac for dreams. I know it sounds dramatic, but the deep groan I release as I collapse onto the bed proves I’m not exaggerating.

But then there is a sleep that is much less enjoyed, endured really – the sleep that engulfs just a single appendage; perhaps an arm or a leg. My right foot seems to doze off most often because of the way I cross my ankles under my chair, and much like an iPod, it goes on standby whenever it’s not used for a certain amount of time. It decides to check out and always wakes in a fit of tingles and throbbing as I lay facedown on the floor after testing its reliability. This phenomenon has grown tiresome (pun intended) and has driven me to research its cause.

The cause is pressure. Pressure will literally disconnect communication between the appendage and the brain by squeezing the nerves. The brain seems to acknowledge and approve the limb’s request until further notice. In some cases even arteries are pinched, blocking all nutrients until access is granted. Both the amount of pressure and duration of pressure will determine whether or not there will be permanent damage as the process has potential to result in death of that limb.

There are times when my spiritual life falls asleep. Not the entire thing, just parts of it – perhaps my prayer time or diet in the Scriptures. I begin to lose feeling of the supernatural and sense that uncomfortable tingling. And much like the physical phenomenon, it is most often a result of pressure. The everyday pressures of this life tend to disconnect the communication between my soul and its Creator. And like the brain, God will acknowledge my heart’s request until further notice. Both naturally and supernaturally, disconnection from the Source of Life results in death. I begin to decay. My relationships begin to deteriorate around me. And I begin to realize, sleep isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

It is no coincidence that my God revels in resurrection. It is a type of sport for Him. He seeks out the dead with intent to breathe into them new life. He caters to the broken and glories in the weak. He sets the lame on their feet and enables them to climb mountains.

I have become consciously aware of when I cross my ankles under my chair, identifying positions of pressure with hopes of maintaining vital connections. I am learning to do the same spiritually as well.

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A Spectacular Species

We all talk about babies as if they are a different species; tiny little beings nearly human. While there are a few that seem to speak their language, the rest of us watch from afar, clinging to our ignorance. Any comfortable distance is of course removed when you become a parent. Their fragile heads sit atop frail pedestals, commanding delicacy from even the roughest of men. When the crying eventually stops, their natural sense of security is daunting. They are helpless and have no problem admitting it as they lie in complete humility without knowing humiliation.

Of all God’s miracles, I believe the nativity is His most spectacular. To imagine God’s head to be fragile, subject to bumps and bruises and balanced atop a frail little neck. Tiny. Reliant. It is the greatest example of servility the world has ever known proving meekness is not weakness.

My prayer this season is for us, His children, to follow in suit. Meek. Fragile. Humble. Secure.

Merry Christmas.