Calvary is a very special place with great preaching, wonderful music, an active laity, and a friendly and mission-focused congregation, this parish has it all.
“As a place of tolerance and acceptance of others; the friendliness, love and support of our congregation ensures we will continue to remain an open and affirming place for everyone.”Vision 2020 excerpt
Not long ago, while conversing with a church member, she and I discovered that on some nights we both have trouble getting to sleep. When we are worried, stressed, or deep into a project or event that needs our attention, our minds race. Many people are like us, particularly as we grow older. Although sleep issues are not limited to seniors, and some sleeplessness may have more serious causes that need diagnosing and treatment.
There are plenty of resources “out there” addressing these sleep issues without having to resort to drugs that make you drowsy. That is not to say that these drugs aren’t useful and necessary some of the time!
I’ve discovered a way to work with my body/mind/spirit when I’m having trouble sleeping. That time of restlessness is a wonderful opportunity for prayer, meditation, and relaxation. And it helps me not to stress about not getting to sleep right away, having learned to benefit from this quiet “awake” time that is, as I have come to believe, a gift.
The first exercise is a form of prayer. When a particular person or situation becomes present in my thoughts, I welcome the interruption and offer either the person or the situation up to God, and then let it go. I do this until I usually fall asleep.
An alternate approach is to focus on the words and meaning of a very short passage or statement from Scripture such as “Jesus Christ is Lord” and repeat it slowly thinking about each word. The practice is very soothing and I’ll often find that I fall asleep somewhere into the statement after several repetitions of the process.
While there are some nights I wish I could have had more sleep, I’m less stressed. about it and most of the time manage to get a decent amount of sleep. The prayer time slows me down – body, mind, and spirit! It becomes a relaxing and good time rather than a stressful time worrying about not getting to sleep!
At a time when the seasons are changing, when we turn back the clocks, it is good to have a positive response when the disruption of light and time hits – a double whammy – along with the everyday stresses that keep us awake, challenging our ability to rest.
In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus says, “Come to me, all you that are weary and carrying heavy burdens, arid I will give you rest,” I get it!
[This posting originally appeared on the Religion page of The Warren Sentinel of October 17, 2013]