Good evening brethren and Happy Sabbath! I hope everyone has had a physically and spiritually productive week!
Please continue ready "Jesus Christ: the Real Story." If you already have the booklet and have been reading, this week you can begin reading chapter 8 "What Was Jesus' Gospel?"
Tossin' and turnin'
The older I get, the more I appreciate a good night's rest. I literally never thought about it when I was younger, but as time marches on, getting good sleep becomes a bigger deal.
Most nights I do okay. But now and again, not so much. I toss and turn - too hot, uncomfortable or things on my mind. I'm far from alone in this. According the the Centers for Disease Control, approximately 1/3 of Americans don't get a good night's sleep.
A good night's rest
I guess having a few nights here and there where we don't sleep well make the nights we do all that much better. And while having difficulty sleeping seems to be a natural part of the aging process, there are a few things we can do about it.
One of the biggest things I've found that helps is a good routine. Going to bed at a regular time, and getting up at a set time. To this end, in addition to having an alarm during the weekday, I have an alarm set for the weekend. And although I do let myself sleep in a little on the weekend, having a routine every day is a big help!
A part of the routine
Once we establish 'regular operating hours' via a consistent sleep schedule, other things are more easily added to our daily lives. Flossing and brushing teeth, exercise, good eating habits, etc. all become easier to do more once we have a good routine.
What about prayer? Is praying every morning and evening a part of our routine? Or is it something we fit in if we have time? As disciples of Christ, a key part of our routine should be prayer as well.
Routine, not boring
The problem with routines is that they often become boring, or at least, that's how we perceive them. But consider the weekly Sabbath. As a kid, maybe we thought of it as boring because we can't play sports, video games or watch TV. But just like sleep, as we get older, the more we appreciate and look forward to it!
Something being routine does not mean it has to be boring. That's certainly true for prayer. If praying seems boring, or feels compulsory, trying praying about something you've not given much thought to. Maybe something you take for granted (like a good night's sleep!) food on the table, or a roof over your head. You'll soon find your conversations with God more at ease, varied and encouraging!
Start and end each day strong
Since we can't see or hear God the way we do one another, sometimes we have a tendency not to feel very close to God or even forget that He's there. Praying not only helps us remember Him, but strengthens and nourishes our bond to Him.
Make sure that prayer is a part of your daily routine. Be sure to spend regular time with God in prayer before your day begins, and before it ends. By doing so, you will not only make your connection to Him stronger, you will establish a valuable part of your spiritual routine that just might help you sleep better!