I’m sure I’ve been getting more sleep than my lovely wife (who has far more strength than I could ever hope to have), and I don’t mean to complain, but this morning it finally just hit me. I’m not sure whether it hit me when I dropped Janna off at school and had to leave with her crying, or when I called the mother of the twins in her classroom (who I know by name) by her new teacher’s name, or when I got to my office this morning and attempted to unlock the door with the key-less entry remote for my car. Maybe it is a cumulative effect, but either way I am now aware of my intense need for more sleep.
My immediate inclination on a day like today is to just shut the world out and be grumpy. I could go about my whole day without ever being truly kind to anyone. I could make sure not to go out of my way for any of my co-workers or students. I could grumble and complain, or wear a scowl on my face.
But as Christians we are called to behave in a different way than our sinful inclinations often push us. We are called to live in such a way that the light of Jesus overpowers any darkness in our countenance or souls. This doesn’t mean that we are to walk around like the Joker with a permanent smile etched on our faces, but it does mean that we should be content, even joyful in our present sufferings, however mild or severe they may be.
Oswald Chambers talks about this in My Utmost for His Highest. He doesn’t suggest that one should appear like a court jester, goofing around and laughing hysterically at every whim. What he does suggest is that the Christian ought to be at peace. We ought to be relaxed, rather than stressed out. We ought to be content, rather than anxious.
And this should be more than just an outward appearance. We are called to show such a face to the world not out of a sick desire to fool them, but because such a face reflects our inner countenance.
I could go on and on, citing Biblical examples of what I am talking about, and perhaps I will at some point. But for now, what is the point? The point is simply this – as a Christian, I should be reflecting daily about myself, about who I have become. As a child of God, redeemed by Jesus Christ, I should be filled with hope (not dread), life (not sour grapes), love (not self-interest), and peace (not anxiousness or malcontent). In a word – I should be happy. And as I reflect on God’s many blessings, I find that I really and truly am.
So what’s a little lost sleep on a Monday morning? Nothing more than an opportunity to praise God for his unmatchable grace…and a chance to warmly welcome the next person to walk through my door in the name of Jesus Christ.