Thursday, December 4, 2008

The beauty of sleep

I guess you could consider it a tradition. It’s something Scott and I do every year as we anticipate the Christmas season. We always buy a new Christmas CD. It’s one of the first things we do to get us in the holiday spirit.

I think early on we bought only one each year. As the years went on and we became more and more aware that our musical tastes were developing as complete polar opposites, we started buying one apiece. Then it became two, or three, or four – each.

Needless to say, after all these many Christmas seasons together, we have a large collection of holiday music CDs.

One of my all time favorites is the soundtrack to The Muppet Christmas Carol. It is usually the first Christmas CD I pull out of the rack to play. The track I hit the repeat button most often for from that CD: One more sleep ‘til Christmas.

There's something in the wind today
That's good for everyone
Yes, faith is in our hearts today
We're shining like the sun
And everyone can feel it, the feeling's running deep
After all, there's only one more sleep ‘til Christmas

There are a couple of my favorite Christmas songs that are on CD’s that are not “technically” Christmas albums, but I play them during the holidays anyway because they really are Christmas songs. Welcome to Our World is one (Chris Rice and Michael W. Smith both recorded this one.)
Bring your peace into our violence
Bid our hungry souls be filled
Word now breaking heavens silence
Welcome to our world
Welcome to our world

And then there’s Rich Mullin’s You Gotta Get Up. Also not on a Christmas album, but still speaks of the season.

Did my sister get her baby doll? Did my brother get his bike?
Did I get that red wagon, the kind that makes you fly?
Oh, I hope there'll be peace on earth
I know there's good will toward men
On account of that Baby born in Bethlehem
Mom and Daddy stayed up too late last night
Oh, I guess they got carried away in the Christmas candlelight
And you gotta get up, you gotta get up, you gotta get up
It's Christmas morning

This year, my purchase (so far, anyway) was Sara Groves’ O Holy Night. I’m really, really, really, loving the Cradle in Bethlehem song. (I’ve since learned that Vince Gill recorded this song several years ago).

Sing sweet and low your lullaby till angels say, "Amen."
A mother tonight is rocking a cradle in Bethlehem
while wise men follow through the dark a star that beckons them.
A mother tonight is rocking a cradle in Bethlehem.
"A little child shall lead them," the prophets said of old.
In tempest storms he leads men far as the bell is tolled.
Sing sweet and low your lullaby till angels say, "Amen."
A mother tonight is rocking a cradle in Bethlehem

As I listened to these songs over and over on my iPod, I noticed something. All of these favorite songs had something in common (besides the obvious Christmas theme and birth of our Savior).
They all have something to do with sleep. If it’s not in the lyrics, the tune itself is a lullaby. Sleep, sweet peaceful sleep.

I just don’t get much of that. Especially not this time of year. There is always so much ‘extra’ stuff to do and finish and stress over. I’m not an easy sleeper even during a non-holiday season. I need absolute quiet, darkness, and stillness before I can rest. The least little thing will have my eyelids popping open. Add a little holiday activity and I’m awake for the duration. (No wonder Santa doesn’t come to my house!)

God knows I need some sleep. I think that’s why I’ve been drawn to all these sleepy songs lately. I know the Savior wants me to know the peace that He came into this world to bring me. Peace that will allow me to rest easy. Not because there is no work left to do. Quite the contrary, actually. There is still a lot of work to do, but it’s in doing the work of my Savior that gives me the privilege of saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

Ahhh, I feel a nap coming on now.

Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble; when you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared. Proverbs 3:23-25

1 comment:

Jules from "The Roost" said...

Winter naps are the best too, don't you think? Hope you get to catch one or two!