The last thing I saw was Patrick Swayze sitting behind Demi Moore and messing up the pot she was making at her wheel. Then I was out like a light. Ghost is a terrible movie. I woke up to my dad picking me up off the couch. I looked over to see my mom ejecting the tape from the VCR and realized what had happened. I was being carried off to my bedroom. I needed an opportunity to protest. I reached out and snagged the molding around the doorway into the hall. My father swung around a bit with the next step and nearly dropped me. He was clearly annoyed. “Now, what are you doing? You were asleep thirty seconds ago.”
“I don’t need to go to bed. I’m awake now. You can put me down.”
He ignored me. My mother started following behind. Apparently, they were going to tuck me in and try to make me stay in bed. “I don’t want to sleep.”
“Too bad. It’s late.”
“But I don’t want to.”
My feet were placed on the bedroom floor and I was pointed toward my bed. I obeyed, but asked, “Are YOU going to bed?”
“Not yet. Soon.”
“Then I can stay up. I really don’t want to sleep.”
“Jake, why is it always like this?”
“Because sleep is scary. I don’t know what happens when I sleep. I can’t do anything when I’m not awake.”
Even at six, I was sort of a control freak.
★ ★ ★
Anymore, rest feels like a reward that one earns after a hard day’s work. A necessity for naps has also developed and comes in just behind the need for meals. I like to sleep and don’t usually feel like I get enough of it. It took a while, but I developed a confidence that I’m not going to be killed, robbed or left behind in my sleep. I also had to realize that the odds of waking up to a fiery death are also slim.
Jesus took a nap- He was out cold in a boat in the middle of a giant storm. He slept with the confidence that comes from knowing one’s purpose and with a trust in Yahweh who had everything in control (Mark 4:38). Sometimes, taking a nap or going to bed on time when I really should be writing or doing something productive feels like a giant surrender of my own controlling personality to God, who can do so much more than I can. I have to pray about things before I go to bed each night for peace of mind, but at the end of the day, I get to close my eyes knowing that I don’t have to worry about or take care of every single thing. It’s wonderful.