I can’t sleep. It’s almost midnight, Sunday night, Monday morning. There are several reasons I can’t sleep. I was up late this weekend and got into a sleep cycle different than my normal 10pm to bed, 6am wake up. I also dozed off for about 15 minutes before I woke up to my 10 year old saying she couldn’t get to sleep. Well, now she’s out like a light and here I sit. But I think the biggest reason I can’t sleep are those numbers: 8752 + 9147 + 3 = 17899. Those were the numbers that were in my head (well, roughly those numbers until I got up and pulled out the calculator) as I lay in bed trying to get to sleep. Actually the 3 was a 2 until about 10 minutes ago.
I lived 8,752 days before I became a cop. I lived 9,147 days as a cop. I’ve now lived 3 days as a ………? Seventeen thousand, eight hundred and ninety nine days total. So what am I now? A retired cop? A retired chief? An aspiring minister? A writer, teacher, skijorer, dad, husband, trainer, bearded getting to be an old guy? Yeah, I think the numbers are the reason I can’t sleep.
Tomorrow, actually today, is Monday. The first Monday in a lot of years that my job hasn’t been to go to work at the PD. But I’ve got a full day planned. The kids will go off to school, Cam will go off to work, I’ll wait for the dishwasher repair person to show up at home, I’ll fill out and send in my medical health insurance forms, I’ve got to write an invocation for this week’s Hennepin County Chiefs of Police Association meeting, I need to renew my kennel and dog licenses with the city, I need to write a Chaplains Message for the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association Magazine, I’ve got to write a weblog posting (I’m getting that done now I guess), I need to set up my new office….well you get the picture. I’m not in need of finding things to fill my time. I guess there is a lot of other stuff in my head too.
Ahhhhhh. That felt good. For me to rest, for me to find a calm and peaceful spirit, I often need to dump the clutter and noise that often consumes my mind and my thoughts. I often do that by talking (as many of you are aware) but everyone is asleep. But I also find peace in my soul by writing. For me, writing is a wonderful spiritual fitness exercise.
So as I conclude this message, since I am starting to get drowsy, I want to leave a thought and prayer (from A Guide to Prayer for All God’s People page 85) that you can use this week as your minds clutter and get noisy.
Try starting a time of quiet and meditation each day with the following:
Almighty God, creator and keeper of the world and all that is in it, help us, we pray, to know the duty you have assigned us and to so live our lives that the world may be a better place for all your creatures….Amen.
And after a period of quiet reflection, close with the following:
And now as I leave this place of quiet to return to the duties which await me, go with me my God; and keep me all the day long. Amen.