22 Jan 2016
All my life, sleep has been a most trusted companion. I never leave home without it. It does not matter where I am or what I am doing, I can sleep at the drop of a hat.
For years, I have heard of people who had problems sleeping at night. I have never been one of those people. I can sit down in a chair and in a few winks, the snoring machine begins.
I can never understand people who could not sleep. I always thought they were kind of joking about the whole scenario.
Then it happened to me this week.
Whatever led up to this occasion, I am not sure, but all of a sudden, I found myself in bed at night and my eyes would not close. Every time I closed my eyes, they snapped open almost violently.
I tossed. I turned. I did everything I could think of but nothing seemed to help me go to sleep. This is the first time something like this has ever happened to me. No matter what I did, I could not go to sleep.
I lay quietly staring up at the ceiling. Nothing seemed to work.
Thinking if I got up and walked around a little bit, maybe get a drink of water, it would help me relax and I could lie down and go to sleep. It did not help. I was just as wide-awake when I got back to my bed, as I was when I left it.
When I got into bed, a thought struck me. Out in the kitchen were some fresh chocolate chip cookies that the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage had baked that day. Of course, she gave me the usual warning that I was not allowed to touch them. This, however, was an emergency.
What if eating one of those chocolate chip cookies made me relax enough to fall asleep? I think the proof is in the eating.
Slowly I extricated myself from bed and my wife muttered, “You’re not getting up are you?”
“I forgot something out in the kitchen that I need to go get now.”
“Remember,” she said in somewhat of a stupor, “do not touch those cookies.”
Thinking to myself as I shuffled off into the kitchen, “What if eating one of those chocolate chip cookies made me fall asleep?”
I must confess that I have a curiosity streak in me. I like to explore things and find out if something is true or not. Moreover, this cookie-sleeping solution was intriguing me so much that I really did not hear what she was mumbling.
Tiptoeing out into the kitchen, I turned on the light as carefully as possible and walked over to where the cookies were. They looked so delicious. They looked so inviting. In fact, I think one of them winked at me.
“She won’t miss one cookie,” I thought to myself. After all, there were dozens of cookies there on the cookie sheet.
Very carefully, I lifted one from the cookie sheet and took one luxurious sniff. Wow!
I have not smelled anything like this for a long time. Nothing quite compares to the smell of a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie.
Before I knew it, that cookie was in my mouth and quickly melted into a delicious sauce of warm delight and it was gone. It tasted so good. In fact, it tasted like another one.
I am not sure how many cookies I ate that night, but they were delicious. After this eating frenzy, I thought it was about time to slip back into the bedroom and go to sleep. I should be ready to sleep now.
I laid myself down and tucked myself in hoping that sleep would invade my body.
Unfortunately, sleep was nowhere to be found for me.
I once heard somebody say that if you cannot sleep at night, start counting sheep and within no time you would fall fast asleep. At this point in my sleepless night, I would try just about anything.
So, I started counting sheep. One, two, three, four and I kept counting until I hit 197. At this point, I could not fall asleep because all of the bleating of the sheep in my room kept me awake. They simply would not quiet down.
I laid there quietly waiting for the sheep to leave and for the dawn to arrive.
I heard my clock click on the hour every hour. Then a light began to glow through my window. It was the sun. The night was over and the day had begun.
About this time, I fell asleep.
“Wake up,” someone was saying as they were violently shaking me. “You’re not going to sleep all day are you?”
I got up, drug myself to the bathroom, then went out to the kitchen to sit down for my morning coffee.
The night is over and another day has come.
I was reminded of a special verse in the Bible that says, “It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep” (Psalms 127:2).
As I meditated upon this verse, the thought came to me; the more I try to do something, like sleep, the less successful I am. What I need to learn to do is to give everything over to God and trust Him.