Friday, January 18, 2013

Waking or Sleeping

You may know the classic hymn, "Be Thou My Vision"--the one with the first verse that ends, "Thou my  best Thought, by day or by night,/Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light." St. Paul expressed roughly the same thought in one of the most succinct verses in Scripture--1 Thessalonians 5:17, "pray continually." 

Truly, is God the dominant Subject in your mind--to the point where even your dreams are full of godly thoughts?

I for one have a long way to go toward that ideal. When tempted to fretting and other sins of thought, nine times out of ten I either give them full indulgence or retreat into irrelevant daydreams, rather than redirecting my mind toward the Source of all comfort. The former is the old natural-feeling approach, after all; and who, being already stressed out, wants to expend yet more energy working on new thought habits? 

All the more reason not to wait for a crisis before laying the foundation of a consistent-prayer reflex.

Many have found it a good starting point to focus on God for the last waking hour of each day; instead of watching the news before bed, they gave that time over to Bible reading, quiet music, and prayer. They subsequently reported sleeping better--and finding their minds more readily tuned to God as the next day began.

Why not try sleeping on God tonight and see if you don't wake in awareness of Him tomorrow?

Lord, this day draws to an end:
Let my mind cease from its churning
And from each concern still burning--
Free my sleep from toss-and-turning;
Let me rest in You, my Friend.

Lord, the morning breaks anew:
Waking thoughts my mind are filling--
Let them not bring dread and chilling,
But let me in joy rise willing,
Freshly eager to serve You.

Lord, through night and daylight hour,
Through each day this world is turning,
Tune my ears to You in yearning:
Let my heart be always learning,
Ever strengthened by Your power.