OPINION COLUMNS

Things that go BEEP in the night

By Gerry Lewis | Published Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Beep, beep, beep! That unexpected sound woke me up at 1 this morning in the middle of a weird dream about dragons that I was really glad to have interrupted.

But when the beep was discovered to be the heat/smoke detector in our bedroom, I had to get up and investigate. By the time I walked around the inside and outside of the house for a look and sniff – even stuck my head up in the attic for more of the same – I was in a state of what might be described as … awake.

It took me awhile to go back to sleep and even then, it was for brief naps that included more weird dreams about radiation alarms going off and other things that make complete sense only during sleep and in Hollywood.

Fortunately, I recently found the setting on my phone that only allows calls from designated numbers to make any sounds between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. Otherwise, the person who called me at 2 a.m. would have contributed to my beep-full-ness sleeplessness.

Of course there was also the internal alarm caused by that piece of watermelon I had at dinner that necessitated another trip during the night, but that’s all I’m going to say about that.

At least last night there was a reason for being awake. Mrs. Sweetie also heard the alarm, so it wasn’t part of my dream. But there are plenty of other nights that the alarms in my head during the night contribute to my morning fatigue. That important meeting coming up. That unexpected expenditure. That worry over the kids. That thing I wish I had said or done differently. Beep, beep, beep!

What goes beep in your night?

Psalm 121 says, “I look up to the mountains – does my help come from there? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth! He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber. Indeed, he who watches over Israel never slumbers or sleeps. The Lord himself watches over you! The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade. The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon at night. The Lord keeps you from all harm and watches over your life. The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.”

Psalm 3:3-5 says, “But you, O Lord, are a shield around me; you are my glory, the one who holds my head high. I cried out to the Lord, and he answered me from his holy mountain. I lay down and slept, yet I woke up in safety, for the Lord was watching over me.”

Our lives matter so much to God that He stays awake so we don’t have to. Give those internal beeps over to Him, and trust Him to watch over your sleep.

But you might want to eat your watermelon a little earlier.

Dr. Gerry Lewis, author, blogger, church consultant, and leadership coach, serves as executive director of the Harvest Baptist Association, headquartered in Decatur. The opinions expressed in this column are his own and may not represent the views of HBA.

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