This morning’s sit was absolutely lovely. Gentle breezes, bright sunshine, squirrels and robins feeding around the backyard. I did have one disappointing observation. The Saucer Magnolia in my neighbor’s yard, which was exploding in white and pink blossoms over the past week, turned a dingy brown due to an intense cold snap. I am saddened to see these lovely blooms slip away so quickly. Fortunately, I can already see buds fattening up on the tips of a few flowering trees. I can’t wait to see what color Spring brings next.
As I soaked in the sights and sounds today I found myself drifting in and out of sleep. This was a first. Not that I haven’t fallen asleep praying, but so far in these meditations I have been very alert and aware. Today, though, I would shut my eyes to revisit my thanksgiving address and realize I was snoozing. I was for sure tired, but I think more than anything else I was just deeply contented.
Someone once told me, “You shouldn’t feel guilty about falling asleep while ;raying. It’s like a child falling asleep in the arms of his or her father.”
Two bible verses come to mind as well:
I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. — Psalm 3:5
and “In peace I will down and sleep, for you along, Lord, make me dwell in safety.: –Psalm 4:8
My history with sleep isn’t good. I have lacked a sleep pattern most of my life. I could point to many reasons as contributing factors. But, I know this for a fact — when I am spiritual feeling grounded and peaceful, I do not resist sleep.
I became aware of this several years ago during Lent. I decided to spend an hour a day in prayer. Twenty minutes of that hour would be in centering prayer. After a couple of weeks of praying one hour a day I noticed a shift. When I would lay my head down to rest I would sleep almost instantaneously.
Prior to that experience, I likened myself to one of those cars with a run on engine. You know those vehicles that just keep chugging long after the key is turned off. That was me. I would put my head on the pillow and mentally sputter along clinging to consciousness no matter how tired I was.
Now, after ten days, of meditating in nature, I feel the peaceful sense of being grounded and at rest settling again over my soul. Which begs the question, “Why, don’t I do this all of the time?”
Questions: Do you struggle with going to sleep? If so, how is your prayer life? Do you meditate in any way?
A Collect for a Sense of Peace: Gracious God, who grants sleep to those whom you love, grant us a sense of deep security, so that we might rest in the knowledge that you alone, Lord, make us dwell in safety, in Christ name we beseech you. Amen.