It is a Monday. When I first conceived of writing this post it was a Monday morning. Monday mornings are tired times, generally speaking, for preachers.
This morning, I was tired.
As I was going about my morning routine, I thought to myself, I should have some coffee when I get to work. That will help make me alert. But as I was driving in to the office I began to think about it a little more. I think I’m afraid of being tired. I didn’t know why that was.
There are times when I definitely don’t want to be tired; times when I want and need to be firing on all cylinders, and so I thank the Lord for the gracious gift of coffee or sugar or whatever else helps restore mental alertness. But I didn’t need coffee this morning. The jobs I’m working on currently are more mundane jobs of scheduling, planning, catching up on e-mails, etc. and I can do those just fine without any stimulant… even on a Monday morning!
So why would I be want coffee? Why would I be so upset at the thought of being tired? I think the answer lies in what CJ Mahaney so astutely points out in Humility with regard to tiredness and sleep:
The fact is, God could have created us without a need for sleep. But He chose to build this need within us, and there’s a spiritual purpose for it. Each night, as I confront my need again for sleep, I’m reminded that I’m a dependent creature. I am not self-sufficient. I am not the Creator. There is only One who will ‘neither slumber nor sleep’ (Ps 121:4), and I am not that One.
Sleep is a gift, but it’s a humbling one. It’s a matter of only hours, at most, before you’re ready to again receive God’s gift of sleep. When that time comes, let me encourage you to pray something like this: ‘Lord, thank You for this gift. The fact that I’m so tired is a reminder that I am the creature and only You are the Creator. Only You neither slumber nor sleep, while for me, sleep is something I cannot go without. Thank You for this gracious, humbling, refreshing gift.’
What CJ says about preparing to go to sleep can be applied to being tired throughout the day as well. If I use my tiredness right, it’s not something I should be afraid of; rather it has become an opportunity to grow in humility.
So why am I afraid of being tired? Because I’m proud. Because I live a in a self-created illusion that I am somehow self-sufficient. Rather than seizing this opportunity to thank God for the physical reminder that he is God and I am not, I try to mask the symptoms of my creatureliness, my weakness, and my limitations and pretend that I am God… that I will not grow weary.
So this morning… I drank no coffee. I’m glad that I’m tired. I’m glad that God never is. I’m thankful for this reminder and I pray the Lord uses it in an ongoing way to stretch me and grow me in humility.