I hate sleep. And much for the same reasons, I love coffee (and caffiene in general).
But try as I might, I can't shake the fact that I need sleep. I need rest. And I'm not comfortable with that, really. I always feel like I'm missing out on something. I'm always thinking about some cool project, idea, story, song, or something I'd like to have time to work on. I feel empowered when I accomplish things, and God has gifted me with the ability to do some amzaing things. Like being a dad, a writer, a musician, an inventor, an avid cyclist, etc.
Lately, I'm beginning to believe that when God commanded man to rest on the Sabbath, it applied to more than just one day a week.
God knows we are made to be workers. We are innately capable of working tirelessly if the proper motivations are in place. For years, I was ridiculed and singled out by my school teachers for being "lazy" because I didn't give a rip about history or math. Or homework. The truth was, as a genius-level child, I was bored to tears. I hated homework because I generally got the concepts and understood them fully in class. I didn't want to practice something I already knew. I was ready to move on to something more exciting! I was the farthest thing from lazy, but they couldn't understand that.
Years later, I still internally fight the stigma of appearing lazy. I secretly fear that people will think less of me because I am not a workaholic. But really, I've (ironically) worked very hard to be able to take time away from work, and rest. It has been a process for me: being able to do more while working less. I am by nature very inefficient, and so for me to get more done without burning myself out, I've been forced to limit what I can do and how I do it.
But why? Because God knows we need rest. Not just physical rest, either. We need to be mentally and spiritually refreshed. This is what the Sabbath was initially for. God knows that for people to properly be able to focus and reflect on the spiritual things in life, they have to slow down and meditate on them.
I'll admit it, I'm not very good at meditating on spiritual things. However, if you've read some of my blog posts from the last 5+ years, you'll notice a trend towards more spiritual and philosophical matters. This is because I've made a concerted effort to do so; it did not come naturally. It has been a product of my being able to rest, meditate, and refresh myself. I'd like to think I'm getting much better at resting my mind, but the fact is I'm still very driven to "do" things, even when I'm resting.
Of course I feel I'm justified to hate rest, because gosh darn it, there's just so much to do! But when I do that, I'm throwing aside God's directive to rest and meditate. And it does have an impact on my mental outlook and general well-being. When I've rested, I am more patient with my children. More able to focus on listening to people. Able to get more done in less time. Able to plan ahead. Able to do much more, and perform my tasks better.
But I, in my stubborn flesh, just can't get a grasp on this. I keep telling myself "I need to stay up and work on ____ or it'll never get done!"
Our self-worth is not defined by how much stuff we get done. Our Human flesh wants to "do" things because we feel we have to. Sometimes we even justify it by saying "I'm doing it for God!" but if we ignore one of God's rules in order to impress Him, well... let's just say that doesn't work out too well.
If we cannot stop and meditate on God's wonders, are we really serving Him? Are we taking the command to honor the Sabbath seriously?
In our day-to-day micromanaged lives, we may not be able to set aside an entire day to meditate on the things of God. But we must learn to set aside some time during the day to do so. It is essential to growing closer to God.