I've been focusing on the value of proper amounts of sleep and rest for the past 18 weeks and I keep being astonished by the powerful effects of this free readily available resource.
Until recently I looked at sleep and rest as these "necessary evils" that interrupt momentum and progress.
My body didn't require a lot of sleep in order to function with high energy and amble enthusiasm. I love the mornings and I hate calling an end to the day. I love chasing after dreams and my calling.
But earlier this year I painted myself into a corner. My main solution for solving problems and overcoming unnecessary struggles was to pray harder, work harder, and work more hours until the issue was resolved.
But this year I ran into the inevitable bigger problem... I didn't have anymore hours available to work. I didn't have anymore minutes of sleep time that I could donate to the work hours. I was all used up.
I could no longer draw from my greatest strength of grinding out more work over more time. I was maxed out. My greatest strength could no longer sustain the endless needs of running an organization. In fact, all the extra work and extra hours had become counterproductive.
Not only was it not sustainable, it had crossed over to becoming self destructive. I'm a hardheaded stubborn driven persevering person, and most of the time that is an asset... but my greatest ambition in life is to bear much fruit for God's glory so if I begin to see that my persevering efforts are resulting in diminished returns I eventually relent from driving on in that same direction.
But because God designed me to be naturally persevering I usually will exhaust every ounce of effort until I'm convinced it is a lost cause.
At that point I abandon the approach that proved to be counterproductive and begin seeking God for a new wiser approach.
So in July, after 10+ years of an extremely heavy workload (that often bore good amounts of fruit via more events run and more participants impacted), I abandoned the approach of resolving all challenges by working longer and harder.
I will keep that approach in my back pocket for occasional situations that require that approach, but I've moved on to a more disciplined approach of "LESS IS MORE".
This approach requires a "smarter not harder" approach which means I utilize more wisdom and more discipline in conjunction with staying in tune with the Holy Spirit in order to accomplish more results with less effort in less time.
So sleep has gone from my arch nemesis to one of my best friends.
In fact, I plain got it wrong when it came to assessing the value of sleep and rest. I know the main characteristics of a sluggard and an unproductive person are laziness and too much sleep. So sleep, in my mind, was synonymous with being a couch potato. I didn't want anything to do with that type of fruitless lifestyle. As someone once said, "I'd rather wear out than rust out."
But, to my own demise, I devalued the immense importance of the proper amount of sleep and rest.
I've thrillingly found that the wise amount of sleep literally fuels a highly productive day.
Sleep is rocket fuel which makes my bed a launching pad to highly productive and highly fruitful days.
I still let myself have 2 nights each week that I stay up as late as I want, but those 2 nights often remind me of just how valuable the other 5 nights of getting to bed by midnight really are.
It may not sound exciting to you, but disciplining myself to get the wise amount of sleep and rest is earth shattering to me.
Too little sleep doesn't fully refuel the rocket and too much sleep pours excess fuel on the ground.
But the wise amount of sleep and rest fuels the rocket to travel to the moon and back each day.
And I'm excited about that breakthrough in my life!
Thank YOU Jesus!!
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." - Mt 11:28-30
STRiVE to THRiVE!