Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep
Especially at this time of semester, it is easy to let one’s life get completely out of balance. Deadlines are real, and sometimes life steps in with curve balls that interfere with meeting deadlines in a sane manner. Nonetheless, proper care and maintenance of the machinery of our bodies is critical.
Yesterday, I noticed a small grinding noise when I applied my brakes. I hadn’t heard anything before this, so I was surprised. I took it into the shop this morning, and drove away this afternoon with a complete set of new brakes, including calipers, and $1200 less in my pocket. (Yes, I checked it out and got second opinions—not an ideal cost, but ballpark for the needed job.) It was a LOT more than I wanted to spend, especially now, but it needed doing. The $1200 now was still a lighter burden than having failure at a critical time.
It is the same with our bodies. Stress over long periods of time cause major, chronic health problems that are hard to lick. In the short term, it decreases our effectiveness, we tend to make more mistakes, which cost us more time and increases stress even more. Thus, proper diet and sleep seem like a $1200 brake job at the time, but they prevent catastrophic failure—failures such as auto accidents due to fatigue, grading mistakes that take lots of time and headache to fix, mistakes in the lab that could be expensive and dangerous, taking shortcuts with our integrity that will haunt us later, saying or doing things without thinking because our brains have shut down, and so on.
A Sabbath rest is even more critical in times of stress—whether it is an hour a day or a day a week, being disciplined to keep a healthful routine will make the work we do better, more efficient, and more enjoyable.
I may be preaching to the choir, but this choir director needs this reminder as much or more than any.