Yesterday I woke up at around 5am and, inexplicably, stayed up. I had the bright idea of not going back to bed even though I had only gotten to bed the night before shortly after midnight. So I hadn't had a lot of sleep. Nevertheless, I felt fairly alert so up I was!
Around 7am I was sitting in one of the more comfortable chairs in our house and trying to pray -- except that after a little while, I found myself dozing, my mind wandering, distractions and random thoughts crowding out my more earnest and heart-felt petitions. And it wasn't much of a surprise given my state of restedness or not. But, still, on the whole I had a pretty good day. I even put together a decent outline for my sermon. I ran some errands. I prepared for Sunday morning's worship service. I had time with my family.
Eventually, of course, night arrived, and I went to bed. Well, I went to bed later than I should have (does anyone else do this?). And the next day, while I woke up at a decent hour, I still felt tired. Nevertheless, I trudged off to my office anyway. I attempted to work on my sermon, I tried reading my Bible, and, inevitably, was unsuccessful. Inevitably? The bottom line, I believe, is that my previous day's decision to stay up when I woke up so early (early for those of us who aren't farmers!) was catching up with me. I know this also because when I went upstairs from my office to our church sanctuary to pray, I found myself more than distracted. I very nearly fell asleep while sitting in one of our sanctuary chairs! Needless to say, it wasn't the most productive morning. My afternoon was better, but mostly because I wasn't attempting to do desk work but instead cleaned our car, ran a couple more errands, and helped my wife do some housework.
Rest is key to work, I was reminded. Without it, the brain can't function as it should. Thoughts are muddy. Prayers meander and even peter out. Reading leads to a pair of glazed over eyes. Physical rest, especially, is important. It's amazing how concentration is effected by the lack of it. All I know is that next time I get the notion to stay up when it's that early, I will suppress that impulse. This is especially true when the night before I got to bed fairly late. More waking hours doesn't necessarily mean more work done!