At lunch time today I got to this line from Richard Foster’s Celebration of Discipline:
David’s desire for God broke the self-indulgent chains of sleep: ‘Early will I seek Thee’ (Ps 63:1). (p. 44)
While reading a book, when I agree with something already, I tend to tick it. If it challenges what I think, but it might be true, I put an asterix next to it. This line was a definite asterix.
I need sleep. I feel dreadful if I miss out on even an hour of sleep: an emptiness will pervade my brain for the next day to come. My whole mood lowers.
Yet I never seem to be able to get much done at all, and so I’ve been thinking that if I slept less, I could get more done.
I have occasional determinations to get up at 6 a.m. every day. Sometimes to pray, but just as often, to get in an hour’s writing.
Surely God wants us to get a good amount of sleep? I feel great when I’ve slept well – replenished. I remember Robert Banks talking about a theology of sleep, perhaps in the Tyranny of Time, but I can’t remember what he said.
Is sleep ‘self-indulgent chains’? I’m sure it can be, especially if you’re sleeping in late every day. But I get up at seven. Is that self-indulgent? I sleep an hour longer a day than a lot of people (eight hours). I guess that makes for four lost years of life if I live to eighty.
Maybe my body could adjust to less sleep. I could get up at five, and do an hour’s writing and an hour’s prayer. I don’t like my chances though.
I’ll start with six or six-thirty. I know something needs to change. I’m determined to hold onto the insights I get from Foster’s book this time. I’m determined to let God change my life.
(And yes, I was about to write ‘I’m determined to change my life’, and if I was writing on my other blog, I probably would have. But this is a theological blog, and I feel a certain pressure to be theologically correct.)