I think my blood pressure must have risen one night a couple of weeks ago, when I was watching a basketball game. It’s normal to get upset, though, when the referees are so obviously prejudiced towards the other team.
I didn’t sleep very well that night, nor two nights later when my team lost again.
Then one night this week, I watched a shoot-em-up western before I went to bed. Lots of injustice from the bad guy, who was really bad. The good cowboy won in the end though and got the girl, which is the way life works when it’s working right (my preference anyway). People like westerns because of the advanced problem-solving techniques of the cowboys; if things don’t go your way—shoot! My heart rate got up again because the bad guy didn’t get it until right at the last. Before that good guys and bad guys were running and shooting in all directions.
Didn’t sleep too well that night either.
I’ve decided that if I’m going to snooze, it’s better not to get too worked up right before bedtime.
Course that’s not the only thing that keeps me twisting and turning in the middle of the night. Problems seem to do it pretty well. Thoughts and feeling that I dominate during the day seem to wake me up and run wild in the middle of the night. The Lord is teaching me to trust Him, but I was kind of hoping that I would have this faith thing down pat by now.
In reality, I think that’s just what happens when you feel strongly about things in life. Imagine how it would be if your attitude were:
“Oh, well, my team just lost for the thirty-third time in a row. But at least they’re polite to the other teams.”
“Sure, I lost my job today. But that’s life, you know? Wonder what we’re having for dinner.”
“Yes, honey. Little junior got mad and beat up three classmates today. Uh, huh. He was kicked out of school for the foreseeable future. But he’s a good kid. Let’s not be too hard on him, even if this is the fifth time this has happened.”
“Yes, the boss said he liked my work. He’s tripling my salary. That’s kind of nice, isn’t it?”
“The Boston Red Sox won the World Series? What the big deal? They win it all the time don’t they?”
Passion is AWOL in all these examples. We don’t live like that.
Now, some of you ladies can’t understand why in the world anyone would be excited about sports. And you guys don’t get too worked up by new curtains, do you? The things that excite us —positive or negative — reveal a lot about us. What turns your crank? Fishing/hunting, politics, family, job? Or in the Church, maybe it’s our project for the Lord or the choir or … All of that is good and can even be excellent.
But I’ve been asking myself a few questions. “When is the last time I lost sleep because I was burdened for someone who didn’t know the Lord?”
Do I get so excited singing God’s praises that I can’t sleep? The Psalmist was so full of the Lord’s joy that it seems he sometimes sang out as he lay upon his bed (I’ll bet Mrs. Psalmist really jumped when he did that).
“Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds.” (Ps. 149:5, KJV)
Do I get passionate about spending time in the presence of God in prayer, worship, and in His Word? Busy Martha ran about the kitchen trying to get all the kosher food ready for their special guest. The harder she worked the madder she got. Where was Mary? This was her responsibility too! Finally Martha stalked out to get her little sister.
“Martha was worried about all that had to be done. Finally, she went to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it bother you that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her to come and help me!” (Luke 10:40, The Message).
Peter, James, and John might have agreed with Martha as the good smell from the kitchen set their stomachs to growling.
But the Lord would have none of it. He replied kindly,
” … Martha, Martha! You are worried and upset about so many things, but only one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen what is best, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41, 42).
Am I so passionate for the Lord’s presence that I would rather be with Him than to eat?
Here is a question we should all ask ourselves. “What am I so passionate about, that it causes me to lose sleep?” The answer to that tells us a lot about ourselves.
Think about it
“Your days are your life in miniature. And as you live your days, so you create your life.” (Unknown. Taken from Roger Lewis’ devotional)
- Some readers have passed along the French version of Coffee Stains to some young Muslim men in Burkina Faso and in Niger. Pray that God touch their hearts and save them.
- A school of evangelism for young people is opening in Paris shortly. They need our prayers for finances and the myriad of details that opening such a school entails. Pray for the program which is named CIJEM Force.
- France rolls up the sidewalks and heads for the beaches in thesummer. Pray that people will be challenged with the Good News of Jesus as they are on vacation. Lord, touch and save.