Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Get Some Sleep

I have to admit as I write today that I am very tired.  I had an extremely busy weekend at work.  Long hours...little rest.  Essentially I'm pooped (or "bushed", to use an old term).  Gratefully I was off work today so I've had a little time to recuperate.  Yet, all in all, I'm totally exhausted.  I can hardly wait to go to sleep tonight.

Speaking of which, I did a little research on sleep today since it is so fresh on my mind.  Basically, we all need about seven or eight hours of sleep per night (good luck with that!).  However, there are ample benefits of getting enough sleep.  Some of these advantages of a good night's rest include:

1. Better health.  Lack of sleep can be a link to heart disease, diabetes and obesity.
2.  Better sex life.  Sleep loss can possibly lower testosterone levels.
3.  Less pain.  Sleep may work just as well as some medications to relieve pain.
4.  Lower risk of injury.  It is speculated that about one in five auto accidents are due to drowsy drivers.  In addition, lack of sleep can make a person more prone to other accidents, e.g. falling, cutting yourself while chopping vegetables, etc.
5.  Better mood.  Simply, the more exhausted you are, the more cranky you'll become.
6.  Better weight control.  People who don't get enough sleep tend to eat more and exercise less.
7.  Clearer thinking.  Less sleep leads to more clouded thinking.  Have you ever done something unusual like leaving your car keys in the refrigerator?
8.  Better memory
9.  Stronger immunity.  People who get adequate rest are less likely to develop colds.
(taken from http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/9-reasons-to-sleep-more)

Interestingly, the Bible gives an insight into the benefits of sleep.  After Lazarus had died, Jesus told the disciples that Lazarus had "fallen asleep" (John 11:11).  The disciples subsequently replied, "...if he has fallen asleep, he will recover" (John 11:12). Hence, I get the feeling that the disciples believed in the power of sleep.  If a person was sick, sometimes rest would be the cure.  If you have a hard time making a decision, perhaps the best course to take is to "sleep on it" and wait for your thinking to clear in the morning. Unusually cranky or irritable?  Go to bed.  Becoming more forgetful?  Maybe you need more rest.

Needless to say, sleep is a good thing.  Don't neglect it or you'll suffer the consequences.  As a matter of fact, I probably should write more but I'll be off to bed soon. 

Good night all!



Friday, April 10, 2015

Seasons Of The Soul

Well it looks like spring has finally arrived.  The weather is warming up.  The air conditioner is being cranked up at my house.  The winter coats and jackets are being stored away in the closet.  The grass is growing (actually more weeds on my lawn are coming up but the grass is soon to follow.  Thankfully, my lawn mower started up a few weeks ago after being idle during the winter).  The air is being filled with pollen (not necessarily a welcome site for allergy sufferers).  The days are getting longer.  Baseball season has started.   

In retrospect, living just north of Birmingham, Alabama, this really wasn't a bad winter.  We had a couple of threats of ice and snow.  I think on occasion the temperature did reach around twenty degrees or so.  But all in all, winter was not bad at all.

Yet, sometimes wintertime is brutal with severe cold.  I can remember one year when the temperature plummeted to single digits in the 1980's.  As a matter of fact, several small lakes on my commute to work completely froze over.  It was a time when I basically went to work and then bundled up as soon as I got home.  There was no thought about lingering outside...it was just too cold.  Much of life was put on hold until the temperature started to climb.

Nevertheless, on March 21st, as it does every year, spring arrived.  What a welcome site to many!  The seasons still seem to come at their appointed intervals.

Life is also full of seasons.  There are those times when life is cold, dark and bitter, similar to the winter.  All you can do is bundle up and hold on.  On the other hand, there are refreshing times in life like spring.  The flowers are growing, the birds are singing, there is a sound of joyous laughter in the air.  Perhaps we would not appreciate spring so much if it had not been for the harshness of winter.

So, ultimately we should rest in the seasons which God provides.   Whether we are in a season of sickness and sorrow or a season of joy and happiness, it is all part of the seasons of the soul.  Michael and Stormie Omartian have a great song entitled, you guessed it, "The Seasons of The Soul".  Check it out below: