Daily Grat: Sleeping Late

I probably don’t get enough sleep most of the time. I know this. It’s an issue. I’m not alone.

But often, if there’s nothing to do on a Saturday, I get the chance to sleep late. This morning, it was until 9:30…which will seem pretty late to some, and still pretty early to others. It was perfect for today.

First, let me acknowledge that I know not everybody gets this little grace. Lots of folks have lives where they *never* get to “sleep in.” Because of of jobs where there’s never a morning off, because of the need to care for small kids, teenagers with insane schedules, older parents, etc, etc…

I know just how rare this “daily gratitude” is for some people. Which only makes me all the more grateful.

Today, it felt like just enough to get “caught up” for the week.

I know, I know, experts will tell you “You never catch up…”

So why does it always feel like I do?

Sometimes, if I can just get that final hour or two on a Saturday morning, it wipes away all the too-short nights of the week. Wipes them clean.

I’ve had to work very very hard in life not to get too wound up that I can’t sleep. The brain often wants to keep working, even when the body wants to rest. Playing guitar often helps. (that”Prayer and Meditation” effect I mentioned the other day…)

Reminding myself that there’s often nothing else I can do, right at that moment, helps. Breathing helps. Trusting and surrendering helps. It takes a trust in your body, a trust in the rhythm of life, a trust that it comes around every 24-hours, to allow yourself to sleep well.

In a sense, sleep is about accepting our limitations and learning to love them. Sleep really is like a small, nightly death. Maybe that’s why, even as little babies, we resist it so much. There’s always a potential finality there that scares us.

The beauty is, like death, we always wake up.

Maybe that’s what sleep is trying to teach us.

I am so grateful for sleep.
And so thankful for a life where late Saturdays are possible.

(During this year, my goal is to find something new to be thankful for every single day, and to add that thanksgiving as a blog entry, under the title “My Daily Gratitude.” I started this kick back around Thanksgiving, and it’s already resulted in a favorite new song of mine. The goal of this ongoing spiritual exercise is to see if doing such a thing might inspire even more gratitude within me, and to foster general awareness of life on a deeper level.)

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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He is Senior Pastor of Kessler Park UMC United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas. Previously, he was pastor at Northaven UMC in Dallas for seventeen years. Eric loves to write on topics of spirituality, social justice, music/art and politics. The entries on this blog reflect that diversity of interests. His passion for social justice goes beyond mere words. He’s been arrested at the White House, defending immigrants and “The Dreamers,” and he’s officiated at same sex weddings in his churches, in defiance of what some believe is Methodist teaching. Eric is an avid blogger and published author, and 2017 recipient of the prestigeous Kuchling Humanitarian Award from Dallas’ Black Tie Dinner. (Human Rights Campaign) Eric has led or co-led hundreds of persons on mission trips around the globe, to places such as Mexico, Haiti, Russia, and Nepal. He has worked with lay persons to build ten homes, and one Community Center, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dallas. He’s a popular preacher, and often tackles challenging issues of social justice in his writings and sermons. His wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, is a State District Judge for Dallas, County. As judge of the 303rd Family District Court, she consistently gets high ratings from area lawyers, and was named “best judge” by The Dallas Observer. First elected in 2004, she was the first Latina ever elected to a county-wide bench in Dallas County, and is currently the longest service district judge in that district. She was re-elected for a fourth term in 2018. They have the world’s best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy. Find links to Eric’s music-related websites, at the top of this site’s navigation menu.

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