How often have you thought about the effect the light bulb has had on society? Sure, it has brought many benefits. There is no doubt about that, however, have you ever thought about how light bulbs have impacted the truth that you and I are a creature and not the creator?
Several years ago I was struck by this quote from Dr. Archibald Hart. He was talking about machines when he wrote, “I am sure people differ here, but in my opinion our duty cycle is 50 percent, like most machines. Why do I believe this? The clues come from the natural cycle of day and night. We are supposed to work during the day and rest at night. What has messed up this cycle is the invention of the electric light bulb. Now our bodies no longer have a sense of daily rhythm—unless we give it to them.”
Now I am not saying that we should get rid of all light bulbs and retreat back to some primitive lifestyle. It just seems to me that much of what we have done to enhance our lives has almost inoculated us to the fact that we were wonderfully made to have limits. I know for me, I don’t even think about light bulbs until one inconveniently burns out and impacts something I’m doing from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. when I should be asleep.
In my last blog, I said something about getting eight hours of sleep a night. For me, and maybe you, that can feel like an impossibility. Why is it that we tend to burn the midnight oil? Have you ever thought about why you relentlessly try to stay up late watching that show, reading this blog, answering that email or text, trying to fix this or that in your home, or going to this or that event? Could it be from FOMO (fear of missing out), falsely believing that “if it is to be, it’s up to me” or a sinful need to continually be in control?
We almost talk about our sleep deprivation as a badge of honor. You see, I have come to believe that getting appropriate sleep brings great honor to God. When believers sleep, it acknowledges that they are dependents who faithfully trust in God’s gracious care (Ps. 3:5-6, Ps. 4:8).
D.A. Carson helpfully writes, “We are whole, complicated beings; our physical existence is tied to our spiritual well-being, to our mental outlook, to our relationships with others, including our relationship with God. Sometimes the godliest thing you can do in the universe is get a good night’s sleep—not pray all night, but sleep. I’m certainly not denying that there may be a place for praying all night; I’m merely insisting that in the normal course of things, spiritual discipline obligates you get the sleep your body needs.”
So, let’s worship God by turning the lights off. Maybe the best thing you could do right now is read this verse and take a nap!
It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for He gives to His beloved sleep (Psalm 127:2).