Last week, I read an interesting article on the effects sleep deprivation has on our brain. The article stated that,
“In 1959, Peter Tripp, a popular New York DJ, pledged to stay awake for 200 hours for charity while continuing to host his radio show. Studies into sleep deprivation were rare at the time so no one knew what to expect. This made it a major event, not only for Tripp’s millions of listeners, but also for the scientific community. The subsequent impact of the “wakeathon” on Tripp’s mind was far more dramatic than anyone had expected. The personality of a man normally described as cheerful and upbeat appeared to significantly change as time went by. By the third day he had become highly irritable, cursing and insulting even his closest friends. Towards the end of his endeavour, he began to hallucinate and exhibit paranoid behaviours”.
You will be pleased to know that after 201 hours of staying awake, Peter went to bed and had a long rest, after which he was refreshed and back to his old self again.
In the busyness of modern life and in our pursuit of happiness and success, we may sometimes wish we had more hours in a day to get everything done. The fortunate or unfortunate reality is that we all have 24 hours in a day, and a body that is designed to work during certain hours and rest during other hours. A greater focus on rest will mean we lose out on the opportunity to maximize our time to provide for ourselves and our families, while focusing our time on work and less rest would be detrimental to our health and wellbeing. We need a good balance of work and rest, but more so, we need wisdom to call time out from the busyness and find our place of rest.
A few hours of sleep may not be enough for a good rest, because although one may sleep for perhaps eight to ten hours, they may not be rested. What is the difference then between sleep and rest? Well, resting is the soundness (peace) of sleep that leads to being refreshed and rejuvenated.
Enjoy your sleep, your Sabbath rest and holiday, but ultimately, true rest comes from the Lord. The Psalmist echoes this truth by saying, “It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he [God] gives to his beloved sleep” Psalm 127:2.
In Christ, we have peace amid lives storms and chaos. In Christ, we know that we have an eternal promise and an inheritance that nothing in this life can change. Therefore, we are encouraged to rest in that truth always.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” John 14:27.
May you find rest in God’s peace today.