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About a year ago, I did a little write up on Rest as an Investment. A few days ago, I heard Jim Cymbala of Brooklyn Tabernacle speak on Sleep Disorders–felt like a strange thing to talk about in that kind of setting. My music device just stumbled on it! However, I learnt some lessons from it that reminded me of an experience I had over a decade ago. It is said that a man with an argument stands no chance before a man with an experience!
The concept of “human efficiency” that is quite popular these days but my experience will not give it the slightest consideration. One of the points made by Jim Cymbala was that we are not designed for “continuous run”; God expects us to rest! Now, it is one thing to not be able to “get sleep!” It’s another thing to be inevitably busy, stuck in traffic, etc. It is yet another thing to stay awake for feeling guilty because of sleep. One often hears of talks about the optimum number of hours that an average person needs to spend asleep to be well rested. The last time I checked (years ago), it was 6 hours for men, and 7 hours for women! So I began to work on myself. I love optimum; it gives the best result.
I was working on a lathe machine that morning. I was an intern. First, I would stay awake till midnight and wake up on the dot of 6am. I used to take brunch and dinner. Until that day. Working on the lathe, everything started turning blue and I was falling…somehow…slowly! My supervisor noticed! He quickly gave me a seat and I settled. Then he lectured me on engineering work. If you are not sitting all day in an office, breakfast is compulsory. And you need an abundance of sleep!
That was the day I gave up on human efficiency. It’s fun to talk about it, fun to imagine the much that could be done with the extra hours each day, fun to imagine how many years we would have spent asleep by the time we are seventy years old; but if God deemed it fit to rest, man should rest.
Love of sleep, on the other hand, is still a vice for “a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest-and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man” (Provs 6:10-11).

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  1. “He who cannot rest cannot work”. The word Sabbath means “to cease”

  2. Sleep, I learnt way back in the early sixty’s, is the most perfect form of rest and there is no doubt that God ordained rest and so sleep is part of the physiology of the human system. Sleeplessness is therefor a disorder.
    However, looking at sleeplessness and rest in the context before us, failure to rest could be by choice, like when one is really very busy or needs to catch up with a target, imposed by circumstances, like having to keep a night at an airport for various reasons. The worst reason for inability or failure to sleep (rest) could be as a result of self imposed circumstances like drug addiction. In all cases, sleeplessness is an aberration or janomaly.
    All effort should be made to rest from time to time, indeed, regularly, to enable our human system to rejuvenate and so enhance optimal productivity. We cannot cheat nature and so sleep/rest should not be compromised.

  3. Nice one. It is important we have a balance. There is time for everything under the sun. There is time for work and time for rest.

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