All this MESSand uncertainty compounded by other stuff has my stomach in a knot. You know the feeling? It makes it hard to eat or sleep.
So last night about 10:30 I was laying there, all fretting and worry and O No! I dunno the FUTURE! was making it
hard impossible to sleep…and wasn’t accomplishing a thing. Not one single thing except to make it impossible to sleep.
Many years ago, when the older boys were babies, I had trouble sleeping. Like..I’d go several days on just a couple hours, which is not healthy. So I developed a coping mechanism. If I couldn’t sleep, at least I could relax, right? There’s this radio station…I forget the call letters, but they broadcast a guy named Mike Kellogg out of The Moody Bible Institute and his Music Through the Night. I’ll never forget him. It was not your typical Deep South Religious Broadcast with sweaty preachers and admonitions to get right with God, but rather, it was as if he knew exactly why people would be awake from midnight-5am, and he played soft instrumental music, much of it very familiar old hymns, and he had this deep, calm voice. In between the songs he would read Psalms and scriptures that were calming and encouraging, sometimes he’d read a bit of CS Lewis or someone, but all of it was peaceful and restful, and I could sit in the comfortable recliner with the radio on, and just drift…
So last night I was laying there fretting, stomach in a knot and upset, and I remembered Mike Kellogg. Now, I didn’t turn the radio on or anything, but I started singing those old tunes in my head, and talking myself down out of the upset. If I can’t sleep, at least I could try to rest. There wasn’t anything I could do about anything at midnight last night, and worrying accomplishes nothing except making me lose sleep. There’s a hymn that goes “trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey” and what is worry, except lack of trust? It’s that whole freight train thing again…am I going to get on and trust, or am I going to stand in front of it and get flattened?
See, the thing is this…I’m not standing here all sweetness and innocence, getting rolled over by life. I am deeply annoyed by so many Christians out there who act like hard times are persecutions out of their control, that if it weren’t for the Devil making life hard, they’d be O So Happeee. Because, honestly, 98.5% of my mess is self inflicted. It’s a result of poor decisions in this way or that…stuff *I* decided, that was NOT forced on me…MY FAULT. That doesn’ make it any easier to deal with, but at least I can own it. God never said we wouldn’t suffer the consequences of our actions, and that’s what’s happening now. I accept that. I also dream of an easy out, but He doesn’t work that way either. However, accepting my medicine and taking it…well, that’s easier than trying to dodge the spoon, if you know what I mean.
So last night I talked to God, told him I recognized the source of my anxiety and that right then, at midnight, there wasn’t much I could do about it, so would He please help me sleep. Into my head popped the old Mike Kellogg show, and the whatyoucallit…pavlovian response from 18 years ago kicked in a those old familiar and comforting songs waved around in my brain, and I drifted right off.
Thanks, Mike and God.