May the grace and peace of Jesus Christ enfold you this night.
Several years ago, my wife and I loaded up our two young sons and moved a 12-hour drive away from all both our families’ home base. The food plant I’d been working in had closed and this looked like the best option for a next step in my food industry career. I started a 2nd shift supervisor job there. This new role soon consumed many more hours than expected, with 6- and 7-day summer work weeks.
Thankfully we had found a good church connection. But for the first time in my life, I was not able to be involved very deeply in church and couldn’t always attend worship on Sunday mornings. At one point, exhausted and loosing connection with those I cared for, I got together with our pastor.
I shared how working night after night and getting precious little sleep was negatively affecting all of my life… including the spiritual side of things. He already knew of my sporadic connection with the church. I also confessed how I rarely prayed or read the Bible anymore.
When I stopped talking, my pastor said something I will never forget. “Steve,” he said, “sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is to sleep.”
In our workaholic, image-barraged, overcaffeinated, entertainment addicted, and super-charged culture… we need to embrace ceasing and relaxing into sleep as the act of reliance on God and the spiritual practice that it is. So, whatever anxious thoughts, worries, or unfinished tasks seek to prevent or interrupt your much-needed daily sleep, I encourage you to use the blessing prayer above to embrace sleep.