Thursday, May 13, 2004

new every morning

It's 2am...again. Not much is on t.v. but I still manage to catch Last Call with Carson Daily. My body is tired, my day was long and yet I still don't want to go to bed. My contacts are the consistency of soggy potato chips, but I must press on into the night.

This habit of staying up late began in high school, was perpetuated in college, and still haunts me today. I am not sure why I don't like to go to bed. I just know that I try not to as long as I can. I stretch the evening hours out as long as they will provide me with more day.

I know that the morning will come eventually and that I will hate myself for staying up. It hurts to get up in the morning. I dread the first sit up of the day. It is the hardest. So why not just get to bed earlier? I am not sure, but I have been asking myself that very question lately.

Part of me thinks that there are latent feelings of rebellion rapped up in the night. It was fun and exciting to stay up late when I was younger. It was a mischievous act. Now it just means less sleep and a tomorrow full of droopy eyes and a caffeine overdose. Maybe I stay up because I want to revisit all those nights I was forced to go to bed by my parents. Like a drug, this rebellious, nocturnal instinct, which was once exhilarating just becomes a destructive, habitual addiction.

This may indeed be the reason why I stay up late. Yet, something deeper cries out for me to resist the pillow. In the end for me it is about holding on to the day. Not that tomorrow is terrible. Tomorrow will probably be just fine. But I know that as soon as I allow my eyes to close, the day will end. If this day ends then the next will begin. And I know that this is the cycle that makes me older.

I began to fight the inevitable when I was 17 years old. I am now 24 and realize that my fight is in vain. I am growing up and getting older. All the late night runs to the 24 hour Quicky Mart can not stop time. Soon I will have to be what I never wanted to be; a responsible adult.

In an age that exalts youth and agelessness, going to bed means accepting defeat. I will get older. My responsibilities will increase and my fun will decrease. This is the inevitable that I am trying to fight. I hope that Conan O'Brian and Carson Daily will help me in this battle. But even these late night friends eventually abandon me to re-runs of Gilligan's Island and infomercials.

Have you ever found yourself staying up late for no apparent reason? Do you try to hold on to your day as tightly as I try to hold mine? Is there hope for people like you and me who would rather watch a man cut through a leather shoe with a knife than get our much needed rest?

God reminded me the other day that there are new mercies every morning. I went to bed late again with my head aching, eyes hurting and my heart troubled. Even exhaustion couldn't put me down. I tossed and turned for a good hour before I gave in to the next day. Something refreshing happened to me the next morning.

After I got out of the shower I did an inventory check on my bodily systems. I wasn't tired anymore. My headache was miraculously gone. My eyes were bright and my heart was at peace. It was true. God does offer his mercies new every morning.

This is good news for those of us who end each day riddled with guilt and sin. Though the day has ravaged our spirit and sin has made a mockery of our character, we still seem to hold on to the day. This day was crappy enough. This day was nearly impossible to get through. Why would one want to go to bed and face the crap that tomorrow brings? We have at least made it to the end of this day. And that in itself in an accomplishment. But that triumph will end as soon as our eye lids collapse and our body is still. So we fight the day on into the night.

Rest, my friend. Tomorrow brings hope. God waits for you in the morning. His mercy is fresh and his love renewed with the rising of each days' sun. Your screw ups are forgotten and your clothes are washed clean on the other side of a dark night's dreaming. Welcome to tomorrow. God was greater than the night and His mercy will be enough for your day.


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