Marc and I returned early from Tishomingo due to a death in the church family. Auntie Shannon generously offered for the kids to stay in Mississippi an extra day. Home by mid-morning, without kids, and despite a list of fun/challenging/interesting/productive things I would like to do on such a day, I began by falling asleep on the couch.
After dozing off and on all day, I feel more human again, more focused.
How often I deprive myself of needed rest! -- and usually due to pressures (often self-imposed) to accomplish more, do more, plan more, finish more. Today, I am grateful that sleep took precedence over the other things. This evening, calm and awake, I find I can ponder some of what needs pondering, I feel tranquil and easy in my body, I can peacefully sift some of the details needed for tomorrow and for longer, ongoing projects. This is quite unlike the driven list-making and intensive mental planning I often do in my spare moments. This is a deep and focused quiet, borne of deep rest.
Deep rest is one of the ways we open ourselves to God, quieting our minds and hearts enough to let the familiar pressures drift away, quieting our minds and hearts enough to allow them to wander on the strange, creative, often surprising and revelatory paths where we encounter God's own self, or the places where our will and God's will meet and flow along together.
The unexpected sleeping of the day reminds me a bit of when my own babies were so tiny that they primarily slept, fed, and slept some more. Being safe and reassured in their parents' arms allowed for a deep and complete rest that as adults we often no longer find, or no longer make time for. Yet God who came to us in all vulnerability remembers being a babe in arms, sleeping as peacefully.
Guide us waking, and guard us sleeping, that awake we may watch with Christ, and asleep we may rest in peace.
--from the Compline service, Book of Common Prayer 1979.