Psalm 119 is a beast–it is 176 verses long and divided into 22 sections (one for each letter of the Hebrew alphabet). So I’m going to divide it up, and write about my observations from each section, and see how each can help me continue to walk the road less traveled. Today, the “Qoph” section:
For the last several weeks, I’ve been running on four or five hours of sleep every night during the week, and maybe one night on the weekends. Surprisingly, I’m not all that beat. I’m waiting for it to catch up to me. There’s nothing wrong. There’s nothing to keep me up at night. I’m just wired. And I’ve found that the hours of midnight to around 3:00 AM are great for writing. I’ve found that when I’m a little “sleep-drunk”, I write best. My wires are already crossed, and just amping that up makes a world of difference. Yeah, it may not make total sense as I write it, but when I come back to it, it totally works (most of the time).
There’s a lot of hype about getting enough sleep. The popular amount is eight hours. Too little, and you’re brain will short circuit. Too much, and it won’t get rolling in the morning. Honestly, I don’t buy into much of it. Some people need a little more. Many people don’t need as much. Some of us are trying to function on too little. As a buddy of mine has said, “We’ll all get enough sleep when we’re dead.”
I heard a preacher named Don DeWelt talk about the apostle Paul one time. He sarcastically said that Paul probably made sure he got enough sleep at night. His point was simple: there are things more important than sleep. Sometimes, we need to lose a little sleep in order to commune with God.
Look what the author of Psalm 119 writes in Psalm 119:147-148,
I rise before dawn and cry for help; I wait for Your words. My eyes anticipate the night watches, that I may meditate on Your word.
Have you ever lost sleep because you were hanging out with God?
Recently, I have. I’m in the middle of writing a book (which is insane, considering all the stuff going on in our lives right now), and late at night is when I do my best writing. I wrestle with the content, which often contains scripture. I pray for clarity. I pray for understanding. I’ve had some really cool insights that may not have come at any other time. Early morning and late night are great for focus because it’s quiet. No noise. No kids tearing up the house, running around, and squealing.
So try it–wake up early, or go to bed late. Or be absolutely nuts and do both. Yeah, you may miss a few Z’s, and you may yawn a little more, but it might do wonders for your time with God.
Besides, you’ll get enough sleep when your dead.