What to Do with Daylight

August 10, 2008

I had the unfortunate experience of waking up at 3:17 am and not being able to fall back to sleep. I’ve tried for the last three and half hours, to no avail. I’ve intentionally tried not to stimulate my mind and thus have kept off my laptop, but it is now 7:02 am, and I’m officially giving up on that.

After all, we’re into productive hours, people.

I often talk to God when I am unable to sleep… and when I am working and cooking and cleaning and even landscaping. But especially when I lay in bed, waiting for sleep. I have heard some people say that sometimes when they are awakened in the night, it is because God wants them to pray. So this morning I asked God if there was something I was supposed to pray about. A few things came to mind, but mostly I was met with silence. And I couldn’t help asking God, “Is there something really important we need to talk about, or You need me to do? More important right now than sleep?”

I have an overactive imagination, and so I often have to consciously choose what I think about – even, in these moments, what songs I listen to in my head. This morning I settled on Brook Fraser’s song “Arithmetic.” It’s a beautiful song, and it’s been running through my mind for the last couple of hours.

It is so easy to fill up every minute of the day (and night) with productivity… or even just activity. I’ve commented before that my mind is often like a constant adding machine, either counting dollars or minutes. As it turns out, neither activity is truly worth the precious thing we call time.

As I lay in bed for the last three and a half hours (and periodically on the couch and even the floor with Annie), I’ve been mentally running through various events of the last few days and different problems and projects I’ve been working on. I suppose the mental running may explain my inability to sleep. That aside, I can’t help feeling like what a precious waste… all the time we spend planning how we will use the limited amount of daylight alloted to us. Rather than just living through each moment.

It’s quite likely that my sleep deprived state is driving this post, but I do think there is value in re-thinking how we choose to spend our waking (and prescribed non-waking) hours. What we choose to do with daylight will eventually define our lives. I know, more certainly than any other thing, that the one thing I want to pursue with the limited amount of daylight alloted to me is my Savior, and knowing my God more intimately than I ever have before. Life waits on no one, and days fill up quickly with the things we must do. However, nothing else is more worthy or more important than this single pursuit.

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  • Reply Lea August 11, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    Good thoughts, Dee. I really like the title of this post. It could be a book title… or a song title. It’s a lot to ponder. And I can definitely relate to the mind being like a constant counter!


  • Reply Dee Wilcox August 11, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    Thanks, Lea! I think Chris and I both are in a place right now where we are not satisfied with the last couple of years, and we want to make the most of the next couple of years. Chris calls them “golden years” because we don’t/won’t have kids yet. And he’s right. So we’ve been thinking a lot about how we can best utilize the time that’s been given to us.


  • Reply Mom August 13, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    I like this very much.


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