Multitasking used to serve me well. I could conquer seemingly unlimited chores simultaneously with order and ease. Oh, those were the good old days when all the neurons were firing full force. Back then, a half dozen work projects and as many personal thoughts could occupy brain space equally. Now, I'm lucky if I can remember what I'm doing one duty at a time -- while in the middle of it! Forget the little details of life. If I don't write it down, it's history. And when too many tasks are tugging for my attention, sometimes I completely shut down and simply have to reboot.
Since the brain is slowing while awake, it strikes me as most aggravating that it would be alert when I'm trying to sleep. One night this week, I sprang awake at 2:00 in the morning with matters whirring in the gray matter that should have had the courtesy to wait till sunrise at least. Last night, it occurred three times! I think in the quietness my mind races ahead. Additionally, in those still moments worries seem to explode from their hiding place where they've been tucked behind the busyness of the day, conveniently ignored.
My jolt upright was alarming enough to wake my husband the other night, who wondered what had me so keyed up. "I don't know," I lied, fully aware of the fears and worries that had just wrangled my z's and stolen my sleep. "Just breathe. Go back to sleep," I coached myself. "You can't do a thing about any of it right now."
Though I am feeling frazzled and worn from a raft of commitments already conquered, and ones yet to face, it isn't the absence of a sound night's rest that troubles me. It's my lack of trust in the One who holds the days and nights and everything that fills them. Now, not only do I have a running list of deadlines and details clicking through my noggin, but bells and whistles are going off in my head! The alarm is blaring a warning about the pattern of thought I've succumbed to in the past several days. Fretting over too much work, too many bills and too little time gave me a headache. And when I allowed myself to mentally labor over even bigger matters beyond my control, I felt a heaviness of despair start to creep over mind, body and soul.
When the head is too full, it's time to listen to the wisdom of the heart. I know I cannot handle any of this alone. I need to trust the One who knows exactly what is needed and I must release the worries to Him. But that is often easier said than done!
My human struggle is nothing new to God. The book of Psalm, chapter 107 highlights the failings of humanity and proclaims the gracious patience of God who redeems and restores those who wrestle between feelings and faith. “Some wandered in desert wastelands, finding no way...they were hungry and thirsty and their lives ebbed away.” “Some sat in darkness and the deepest gloom...” “Some became fools through their rebellious ways and suffered affliction because of their iniquities.” “Others...in their peril, their courage melted away...”
In every instance God meets the weary and wounded, the faltering and foolish with His great power and love. When they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, “he delivered them from their distress.” “He saved them...” “He sent forth his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.” “He stilled the storm to a whisper.” “He lifted the needy out of their affliction.”
This particular song ends with “Whoever is wise, let him heed these things and consider the great love of the Lord.” (Ps. 107:43)
My multi tasks for today: heed and consider, trust and release. Then get some sleep. I pray you'll do the same.