There are times when I have been shocked by how hard Americans push themselves. Slow down! Where did ‘Blessed are the busy’ come from? I see in people here a drive to do everything that is humanly possible in a twenty-four hour day.
I used to be a bit like this socially. I used to stay out all night with my friends, going up to Dartmoor and traveling down to Devil’s Point near Plymouth, England. The next day, in my college classes, I couldn’t function. I remember trying so hard to understand what Dr. Adrian Thatcher was trying to tell me about the existence of God, but I would keel over as soon as I left the class. In one P.E. class I arrived without my kit and so I curled up on the gym mats and went to sleep. In retrospect I am glad that the gym teacher asked me to leave her class. I wasn’t learning a thing. Are you sleeping enough? What is your theology of rest?
Mike Milco tells me that sleep deprivation is a strong indicator and contributer related to depression. I understand that a crazy mind can lead to no sleep, but also no sleep can lead to a crazy mind. We talk about our bodies being a temple of the Holy Spirit, and so we don’t smoke or chew tobacco. Many Christians don’t drink alcohol. However, they will pile on the pounds and deprive themselves of sleep.
Regular sleep habits and a daily routine are essential aspects of wellness. I am not saying that we should condemn each other over these issues, I am saying that we should examine and improve our own behavior. The zombies that I see in America are the product of overwork, poor eating habits and a mindset that thinks 6 hours is a full night’s sleep. Our values are wrapped up with performance. It is a materialistic society that attributes worth by quotas and measures meals by quantity rather than quality.
Do you have a routine? Do you have self-control? What beliefs or desires control sleep deprivation? I know that for me, I might choose to spend and evening at the Theatre in Chicago and also plan an early church meeting the next day. I don’t want to disappoint my wife by cancelling the date at the theatre, and I don’t want to disappoint my church. I am guilted into unhealthy living. However, I am not the victim because I am a sentient being who could make a choice.
Not everything that is good to do is good for me to do. Why do I make poor choices regarding sleep?
Do you really want to be a zombie?
I wasn’t a zombie until I started this blog stuff. I remember reading a book called Future Shock my freshman year of High School. The basic premise was that everything was speeding up. It’s kind of eerie to think what a prophet Alan Toffler (I think that was his name) was. My brother often asks me, “Who is holding a gun to my head?” Who is making us run our lives at break neck speeds, and why? The answer is, “We are!” Unfortunately, the world reacts to this in two ways: one, we run the rat race, and two, we become Homer Simpsons. There was a time, believe it or not, when stores closed on Sunday. There was a time when people sat on porches, not in front of TVs, and actually had extended conversations with one another. Can we turn the clock back? I think we can. I think we must. I think we start by eliminating cell phones. I went to the Bob Dylan concert Saturday night with my son Andrew. He loved the concert, I didn’t. I like Bob Dylan, but he radically changed all his songs, and call me old fashion, but I kind of liked the old tunes. At any rate we ran into Andrew’s English Prof at the concert, and he shares my hatred, maybe that is too strong a word, for cell phones. In fact he is writing a book on how cell phones are ruining the world. I plan to buy several copies and distribute them to all my friends. I do believe when the end comes, and we trace back to the turning point of humanity’s fall, we will discover that devilish little cell phone.
The majority of my lack of sleep is due to the ammount of homework that I have and is caused by the desire to COMPLETE my education, In order for me to graduate i have to take 53 credits over the next 3 semesters. I am also required to do PCM (which i actually enjoy) and also am taking up a servant position on my floor as the bro-bro rep, in charge of diferent engagements between the men on our floor and am also making the new freshmen a priority to make sure that they are feeling comfortable and if they need anything to talk about that I am there for them. On top of all of this I am required to pay for my own education and work 25 hours a week (by the way if you could pray for me for that, i don’t seem to have the funds to come back next semester and have been prayerfully considering my options). With all of this going on I don’t get much more than 5-6 hours of sleep a night and just seem to get more and more worn down as the semester has gone on. I don’t feel as though I am depressed (you eluded to that in your post) but i have been feeling kinda spread thin. Mr. Worrall i would just like to let you know that I appreciate the care that you show your students and your willingness to communicate with us, I would also like to apologize for coming to class rediculously tired and late most of the time. I feel as though i have missed out on or at least not absorbed as much as I would have liked to due to the class being so early. I don’t feel as tired or drained after about 11 am, and i think that there are many here @ moody who feel the same, maybe you could request your class be a bit later in the day…just a thought.In Christ Tony
I feel like I am in a way an inspiration for this post…
P.S.- do you actually have that shirt?
No, I don’t have that shirt and also no-one was actually in the cross-hairs when I wrote it. I think that Anthonius Maximus illustrates the Future Shock that rkettering talks about. The world is speeding up. I have had to be brutal with decisions to redeem my schedule and my life. However, I do sympathize with those who are still struggling, especially when study and finances are breathing down the neck. As a prof. what should be the balance of justice and grace?
Great post Peter… again – you never cease to amaze me with your words of wisom or “Worrallisms” as I like to call them! Sleep? Work? Exercise? Read? Chill? Dream? Pray? Cook? Listen? Talk? Or just Be? That is the question… a little bit of all these make for a healthy lifestyle… Thanks!
Thanks, Kris. I found your Xanga today and left a message under the picture from the England trip.