Later this month, I have to go have a sleep evaluation. Most people who go are looking for ways to solve problems with their sleep, like snoring and sleep apnea. However, I am going so they can observe and evaluate my insomnia.
Now, as I got thinking about this, I realized there’s some humor here. I’m going to a place where they are trained to watch people sleep because I can’t sleep. Kind of an oxymoron, don’t you think?
There’s a parallel here with our spiritual journey. There are times when we need outside help to get our spiritual life back into balance. Maybe it’s when we feel God is absent or inaccessible. Maybe it’s when we feel like we are praying and praying but wonder if we are making any connection. Just as we need a healthy sleep life to have a healthy physical life, we need a healthy devotional and prayer life to have a healthy spiritual life. And sometimes we need help to get back on track.
I have friends that I go to when my spiritual life gets “out of whack”. They can help me to look at what is going on, and encourage me to get back on track. There’s no shame in seeking help to get our life back where it needs to be. Just as we seek doctors, teachers, and other professionals when we need help with our mind and body, so we need to seek help from others when we need help with our spirit. It doesn’t need to be “professionals” – just a friend who will listen without judgment and speak encouragement honestly.
So, although it may seem humorous, I will go have a sleep study to study my lack of sleep. I expect these trained people will be able to offer answers. And when my spiritual life hits a place of unhealthy or frustrating “stuckness”, I will seek guidance from others. How about you?
Bishop Beard “stole” the show at Annual Conference when he wore the stole presented to him by our church on May 13 during his visit here.
Memorial Day is not a “church holiday” like Easter or Christmas, but we celebrate it in worship anyway. It’s a day to remember those who sacrificed their lives in times of conflict for the benefit of others, specifically us. It began in many towns as an unofficial day of remembrance after the Civil War, a war saw the greatest number of military casualties in our history. Families would gather and decorate the graves of fallen soldiers, both their own family and others buried in the local cemetery. It was a solemn occasion.
In 1971, it was declared a federal holiday. Gradually, since that date, it has become the unofficial beginning of summer. With cookouts, fireworks, and “Memorial Day Sales” the day has lost much of it solemnity.
Officially, there is a national moment of silence to be observed at 3:00 pm local time on Memorial Day. I’m not sure I ever remember being anywhere that it happened. I hope we aren’t forgetting what Memorial Day stands for.
As Christians, we worship the One who gave his life for our salvation. Because of Christ, we have hope today and in the future. This Memorial Day, let us take time to give thanks to Christ for his great sacrifice. Let us also remember those who also sacrificed—military members who have sacrificed their lives; families who have sacrificed a son, daughter, father, mother, spouse.
As we remember them, let us also remember the thousands who are still deployed in war zones. Pray for them. Pray for the families who wait at home. Pray for the leaders of the world that they may find a way to peace. Pray for our world that we may learn to live together as children of God.
April 1st is both April Fool’s Day and Easter Sunday. This is a fairly rare occurrence—it hasn’t happened since the mid-1950’s. Of course there are all kinds of jokes, like: “Would you like to come to worship with me on Easter?” “Sure. When is it?” “April Fool’s.” “You mean you DON’T want me to come?” “Yes, I do. Come with me on Easter. April Fool’s.” And the conversation continues with a lot of misunderstanding.
It’s fun to play with coincidences like this. The conversations on the first Easter morning might have taken on a similar sense of misunderstanding. The women who had been to the tomb were trying to tell the disciples that Jesus was not there. Some of the women even said he was alive. This made no sense to the disciples. No one dies and then is alive again three days later. Someone is playing a joke!
Soon the disciples learned the truth—Jesus was alive and it was no joke. For us today, Christ’s power in our lives and in our world is no joke. We have experienced the power of this risen Christ to transform our hearts. That transformation brings new life and new hope to our spirits, allowing us to live in ways that let us see the good in the world instead of the bad.
Have you experienced this transformation in your life? Do you know that the resurrection is not a practical joke? If you have, I hope you live that out each day, especially through worship. If you haven’t, I invite you to join us at Evan UMC for worship, for study, and for conversation with others who are learning to live as children of Christ.
As always, I invite your questions, your comments and your prayers!