Wednesday, November 4, 2009

30 Days of Seeing

Day 16

Sleeping Like a Baby

I am babysitting Eli, my seven-week-old grandson. He’s asleep in his crib, strategically placed in my office where I can write and keep my eye on him. So—is there anything sweeter than a sleeping baby?

He is lying on his back with his arms spread wide next to his head. His little chest rises and falls steadily and rhythmically. His body is limp, resting its full weight upon the mattress. He is the quintessence of the expression, “sleeping like a baby.”

I see him and am struck with the beauty of his tranquil body. I wonder when I ever feel that peaceful. As he drifts off to sleep, all the cares of his little world—a full tummy and clean diaper—float away. I wish that I could experience such a serenity.

My heart longs for the rest that Eli exhibits; to become childlike and trusting, to let go of all care, to consent to sleep as though entering a soft cocoon of bliss. What do I do to find this respite and peace? How can I cultivate a tranquility that mimics “sleeping like a baby”?

Psalm 131: 1- 2 in The Message suggests,

God, I'm not trying to rule the roost,
I don't want to be king of the mountain.
I haven't meddled where I have no business
or fantasized grandiose plans.
I’ve kept my feet on the ground,
I’ve cultivated a quiet heart.
Like a baby content in its mother’s arms,
my soul is a baby content.

Here are some questions for spiritual direction regarding what keeps you from truly resting:
  1. What weight am I taking on that is beyond my control?
  2. What does it mean for me to stay grounded (keep my feet on the ground)?
  3. What helps me quiet my heart?
  4. What practices might I try before I fall asleep that will help me “sleep like a baby?”

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