I woke up one morning feeling rested. Wow, I feel good, I thought. I looked at the clock – 6:30 a.m. My body had enjoyed seven and a half hours of rest. I could feel a thank you rising up from within me. What was unusual about this?
I may not be frugal with my money, but I am frugal with my sleep. I seldom am tucked in bed by eleven. Oh, I know I need sleep. It’s just that I usually have stuff to do every evening. When I finally say, that’s enough, I’m not ready to sleep. After my busy day, I deserve some relaxation time, so I surf the net, or play a game, or read. Suddenly it’s midnight or one a.m. Just a few more minutes, I say to myself. I’ll check my emails. Another hour passes.
Science tells me that when my body has sufficient rest, my mind is more alert. In fact, it’s easier to control my weight when I regularly get enough sleep.
Our Bible contains wisdom for living in relationship with self, with others and with God. Sometimes we leave ourselves out of the equation. St. Paul said that our bodies are God’s temples. As such, we need to experience sufficient sleep, maintain a healthy diet, and enjoy regular exercise. We’re not caring for God’s temple if we’re always exhausted. When we value everything and everyone more than ourselves, we can easily ignore our need for sleep. Caring for others, spreading the Good News, doing God’s will is easier when we’re rested. Best of all, sufficient rest means we can serve with a joyful heart, because sleep lifts our spirits. Shakespeare said, “Sleep precious sleep that knits the raveled sleeve of care.”
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. (I Corinthians 6:19-20)