Imagine you saw this advert online:
Scientists have discovered a revolutionary new treatment that makes you livelonger. It enhances your memory and makes you more creative. It makes you look more attractive. It keeps you slim and lowers food cravings. It protects you from cancer and dementia. It wards off colds and the flu. It lowers your risk of heart attacks and strokes, not to mention diabetes. You’ll even feel happier, less depressed, and less anxious. Are you interested?
Imagine you saw that advertised. What would you do? You’d be at the doctors asking for some, or at the chemist buying it. Who wouldn’t want all those benefits? But it isn’t a new wonder drug or treatment, but the scientifically proven benefits of a full nights sleep. Isn’t that amazing?
God in his wisdom created us with a circadian rhythm of awake and asleep, at creation he split a 24 hour day into day and night so that everyday we’d benefit from his gift of sleep with all its attendant blessings. And yet two thirds of adults in the developed world fail to get 8 hours of sleep a night. According to the World Health Organisation we are facing a pandemic of sleeplessness in the Western world.
God made us to sleep, it’s his gift to us, it is a necessary part of how he made us. And yet sin means we view it as wasted time, as a missed opportunity to be more productive. As something we can skimp on. In these three posts I want to pause and think about what God has to say about sleep because he made us, he knows how we thrive, and he cares about us. As God’s people living in God’s world we want to honour him in every area of life, but have we thought about how we do that with our sleep, maybe the very idea feels wrong. Often we think we honour God by our activity, doing, doing, doing. Maybe we struggle to think we can honour God in our sleep? Or that God even cares about it.
What is your theology of sleep? How much does that theology impact how you live?