Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Sleepless In Suburbia

Something I used just briefly in the Introduction to last Sunday's lesson was the question, "What keeps you awake at night?" I called it a Focus Question because I wanted us to focus on our passions, concerns, or drives, and I feel that this is a question that causes us to honestly see what really goes on in our hearts. Most people lay awake at night worrying about one or more of the Big Three - money, family, & health. In past years I have done my share of staring at the ceiling as it if were the "mirror, mirror on the wall." For the record, it has never given me an answer or helped out in any way, shape, or fashion.
A lot of sleepless ceiling watching comes with life's changes and varies with where we are at that time of life. Like when you're young and you discover for the first time that credit cards are a two edged sword, or when your children are sick or struggling or going through a life change of their own. And then there are those years when your teenage kids want to be with people you don't know, go places you're not sure about, and stay out later than you want them to. No one knows the anxiety of laying in bed late at night waiting to hear them come in the front door unless they've been a parent. Their time will come - and then they'll "get it".
The bottom line for asking the question is to simply challenge us all to ask, "When was the last time I laid awake at night because of concerns about spiritual matters?" When do you worry about your walk with God? Do you have worries about the souls of your loved ones? Have you ever lost sleep thinking about your church family? Remember Paul's list of experiences and sufferings as an apostle and a missionary in 2 Corinthians 11? Wow! Beatings, imprisonment, shipwrecks, and near-death experiences galore - and on top of that, he added his constant concern for all the churches! I think many would consider that unnecessary baggage. He didn't. Jesus didn't, when he paid for his church with his blood and called it his body.
Maybe it's a sign of getting old, but I don't lay awake a night worrying about the "Big Three." Reflux - yes, but money, family, and health - no. I do worry about whether or not I am doing all I can to help people grow in Christ. Even then, what is different from years past is that I'm not ruminating in the darkness buying guilt that Jesus already paid for. I'm talking about it with God. I found that when I do that, I not only tend to find some answers, but I find peace, and perspective, and often...sleep.

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